I still cannot get over how crazy the world suddenly is about cannabidiol. I have been writing about CBD for years. It’s an amazing molecule that is reducing seizures, freeing people from chronic pain, fighting opioid addiction and doing many other wonderful things for humanity. Once hemp based products became legal nationally last December, we expected hemp would start getting much more attention. The focus on CBD is viral at this point. I have even written a couple of articles about it already this year, and here is another.
I only focus on CBD because despite all the amazing things we can do with hemp, CBD is what is getting the most attention currently. Kim Kardashian is having CBD baby showers and people are dripping it on their salads during lunch. Yum! The potential for hemp products goes way beyond CBD though. There is even a modernized technique where they use an enzyme to soften hemp so it’s more like cotton but maintains its tensile strength. People have built planes and houses out of hemp. It can be used as a food and energy source too. But the world is crazy about supplements, and that is where CBD is heading. It’s the next big supplement.
The end result is that CBD is experiencing the first real big wave of big business hitting the cannabis space. Let it be an example for all of you out there working hard at building a cannabis company, because as weed becomes even more legal here in the U.S., the waves are just going to get bigger. Canopy Growth Corporation just bought nearly $4 billion dollars worth of warrants to purchase Acreage Holdings if marijuana ever gets descheduled here in the U.S. Other massive acquisitions are happening as well. But, that is not what I am talking about. That has more to do with perceived value and those massive companies branding and public relations efforts. I am talking about the big business that knows the best business practices for getting your everyday consumer to buy their products. You know, things like SEO, email funnels and promotions.
I came upon a brand new company during my endless hours of research on the topic of cannabis. It’s called Sugar and Kush. Great name. I thought it was just another company selling weed, in particular the Sugar Kush strain, but it is exclusively focused on CBD. In fact, there is hardly any reference to cannabis on the entire SugarandKush.com site. The models are beautiful, the pink brand color is nice and the packaging looks great for their CBD Oil Drops and Gummy Bears. Soon they will be offering CBD cookies and brownies. The whole brand looks geared towards women, though I can’t see why men wouldn’t like it too. All of the blog articles are written about how CBD can help women with cramping, anxiety, sleeping at night, etc. The idea is that CBD can help people feel better throughout their day to get all they want accomplished and fit in their workouts too.
You know, for me the whole setup of Sugar and Kush just looked a little too professional and mainstream for the cannabis sector. No offense to the cannabis sector, but for the years I have been involved in it, legal cannabis has just not brought in many mainstream business professionals. Marijuana has been an industry of legalization advocacy and passion, which is great for everything but actually making money. I’ve warned everyone before, once weed is legal, the business tsunami would hit hard on the cannabis sector and wash away everyone that wasn’t business ready for weed to go mainstream.
But, as a consumer what I care about is the actual product I am considering purchasing. I know the cannabis industry really well at this point, and many CBD brands have been criticized for being inconsistent in the amount of CBD in their products and not providing accurate labeling. In the mainstream world that is a huge no no. You’ll get fined, black labeled, sued and go bankrupt. CBD companies have only been able to get away with mislabeling their products because it has been unregulated. It still is unregulated since we are waiting on the FDA to finalize their rules concerning CBD products. So, what did I do while on SugarandKush.com? I went looking for the certificate of analysis.
I’ve talked to many cannabis lab testing companies and the one critical thing they tell me is that cannabis consumers should be looking for a certificate of analysis from a third party. A certificate of analysis shows that the cannabis company went out and found a third party lab testing company to run diagnostics on their product to prove the contents of their product. CBD companies don’t have to do that yet technically, but they would do it if they were doing smart business. Sure enough on the Sugar and Kush product pages, there is a link to lab testing results on each of their products. The certificate of analysis pops right up and it shows that Sugar and Kush products come entirely from a CBD isolate and contain no THC.
Sugar and Kush is also focused on low-calorie products and use a coconut derived CMT oil to help with CBD absorption. Since cannabinoids absorb well into lipids, better known as fat or oil, infusing it into some sort of oil is important to get the full effects of CBD. Coconut oil tastes delicious too. So, Sugar and Kush is checking off all the boxes. Its cannabis in a very real business and I doubt this is going to be the end of the road. Once the FDA does come around to making rules for CBD companies, Sugar and Kush will probably pass with flying colors. They know what to expect from the FDA before they even put out the new regulations because they have been involved in mainstream business and are applying best practices.
If you want to last in the cannabis space, you have to think ahead. A seasoned business person knows what regulations are coming down the pipeline before they get there. With the cannabis space it’s easier since it is likely to be regulated like alcohol and commodities. Just follow their blueprint. CBD is likely to be regulated like a supplement eventually. If you can see ahead, then you don’t need to desperately pivot your company to avoid getting shut down. Once you have succeeded at making sure you are meeting regulations, it simply takes knowledge on the best practices in conversion marketing. The people running a company like Sugar and Kush think business first. If you don’t think that way, if you are still focused on having a fit over prohibition, then the wave is going to whisk you away to like the nothing. In the meantime I am excited to drip some Sugar and Kush Hazelnut CBD drops into my coffee tomorrow morning.