Shopify targets U.S. hemp firms with new platform features, announces fundraising plans

shopify cannabis

Shopify Inc. says its e-commerce and retail platform has been given new features to help U.S. merchants sell hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol products where permitted by law.

The announcement follows last year's passage of U.S. federal legislation that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which still covers cannabis products.

Hemp may contain CBD, a compound with potential medicinal qualities, but without significant levels of THC – a compound in cannabis that produces a high.

Shopify says the new features will help its clients tap into a growing regulated industry in the U.S. by providing tools for marketing, payments and shipping products.

The Ottawa-based company's platform is used by merchants in roughly 175 countries to set up and manage sales operations across multiple channels including mobile apps, online portals and physical store locations.

Elsewhere Tuesday, Shopify announced plans to raise more than US$600 million with a public offering of class-A voting shares. The firm intends to release 1.9 million new shares on the NYSE and TSX exchanges at a price of US$317.50 per unit.

The public offering is expected to close on Thursday. Shopify, which last week announced its US$450-million acquisition of a warehousing and fulfilment company, said it will use the new funds to strengthen its balance sheet and finance its growth strategies.

– With files from OBJ staff