Right now, it feels like a new CBD brand hits the shelves every day. With laws and regulations relaxing, and cannabis making its continued move into the mainstream, there’s never been a better time to get into the CBD industry.
But not every new brand makes it. In fact, only a small number of CBD stores & brands successfully acquire market share and become well-known names. These manufacturers share an ability to navigate laws, fine-tune their brand image, and create a quality product for consumers.
For those considering entering the CBD market, here are 5 things to bear in mind when starting a CBD brand.
One of the great things about starting a CBD brand at this point in time is that many laws prohibiting the sale and consumption of cannabis products have already been relaxed. While there is still some way to go on the path to full legalization, amendments to the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the production, sale, transport, and consumption of THC-free cannabis products on a federal level.
Of course, tensions between state and federal governments mean that cannabis and CBD laws are not so simple. Many states now fully embrace all forms of cannabis, while others only allow a strict set of products onto the shelves. As a result, it’s important to become an expert on exactly what kinds of CBD your local market allows now, and in the near future.
Also bear in mind that laws and regulations may affect more than simply whether or not you’re allowed to sell CBD. Many CBD brands have encountered issues with everyday business practices such as applying for loans, running ads, and securing distribution.
One early-stage decision to make when forming a CBD brand is what part of the market you’ll serve. Some CBD retailers are focused on providing therapeutic products that would be at home in a natural supplement store. Others aim to compete with drinks and snack brands by creating recreational products.
A growing sector of CBD is products aimed at pets—primarily CBD for dogs. One advantage of moving into the pet market is that all products are made from low-THC hemp, which should allow them to be sold hassle-free across any state.
Another key decision that’s likely to arise at the beginning of forming a CBD company is how involved you’ll be with CBD production.
As a cannabis extract, CBD has a reasonably intensive production, and brands can enter the scene at several points along the process. Some are so-called ‘seed-to-shelf’ brands that farm their own cannabis crops. Others are termed ‘white label’ companies who buy in premade CBD and handle the labeling and distribution. In between are companies that handle different levels of the production process, such as infusing CBD isolate into oils or snacks.
It’s worth noting the bump in consumer confidence that comes with being a seed-to-shelf company. That knowledge that a CBD brand is a true cannabis expert, and not just a website and a warehouse, can be invaluable.
4. Independent testing
All reputable CBD brands regularly submit their products for testing by independent labs for accuracy, impurities, and the presence of things like pesticides. Making these test results accessible for consumers is a must for any brand looking to gain credibility.
Some CBD companies go the extra mile when it comes to lab testing by joining one of several accredited industry initiatives. These collectives set rigorous quality assurance standards and offer badges of recognition for brands who pass their audits.
Finally, with so many CBD products for consumers to choose from, it can pay for brands to separate themselves with unique selling features. Generally, brands do this via one of two methods: by focusing on additional ingredients and unique delivery methods, or, by focusing on the CBD extract itself.
Popular ways to experiment with additional ingredients include adding secondary natural supplements such as turmeric, chamomile, and Omega fatty acids. New CBD carriers and delivery methods include drinks, balms, gummies, and even bath bombs.
Brands that go all in the CBD extract itself often invest in premium features like organic and non-GMO crops, and expensive extraction methods that capture a full spectrum of cannabis compounds from the plant.