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DSN SPECIAL REPORT

Liquid Gold?

The CBD category reaches an important juncture.

DRUGSTORENEWS.COM Special Report: CBD

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Rocketing onto Shelves As CBD manufacturers ready for a land rush into retail doors, merchants should tread carefully in the category By Seth Mendelson

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BD products have arrived! How do I know? It said so in People magazine. When a category starts getting real coverage in People magazine, you know it is time to take notice. That is just what happened last month. People, which remains the bellwether for many consumers in terms of fashion trends and new fads, featured CBD beauty products in its regular People Beauty page in an issue in mid-February. Seth Mendelson While the magazine focused on just six different prodEditor in Chief/ ucts, it also sent a message out to shoppers — and retailAssociate Brand ers — that CBD is a segment to take heed of, perhaps Director right now, but certainly in the near future. If it shows up in People, many people feel, it has to be on the right side of history. This month, Drug Store News features two major articles on this interesting and complex category. While one article focuses on some of the many players in the marketplace, the other one gives our readers a look at what is happening in the category and what retailers can expect from it over the short and long terms.

An EnsembleIQ Publication 8550 W. Bryn Mawr Ave, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60631 Vice President, Brand Director Eric Savitch (856) 489-3336, esavitch@ensembleiq.com Editor in Chief /Associate Brand Director Seth Mendelson (212) 756-5160, smendelson@ensembleiq.com EDITORIAL Associate Managing Editor David Salazar (212) 756-5114, dsalazar@ensembleiq.com Senior Editor Sandra Levy (845) 893-9573, slevy@ensembleiq.com Desk Editor Maria Manliclic (212) 756-5093, mmanliclic@ensembleiq.com Online Editor Gisselle Gaitan (212) 756-5138, ggaitan@ensembleiq.com SALES & BUSINESS Beauty Director Laura Fontana (440) 724-4369, lfontana@ensembleiq.com Northeast Manager Alex Tomas (212) 756-5155, atomas@ensembleiq.com Regional Manager Steven Werner (312) 961-7162 swerner@ensembleiq.com Brand Marketing Manager Mary Ellen Magee (856) 419-8411, mmagee@ensembleiq.com Media Production Assistant Betty Dong (212) 756-5134, bdong@ensembleiq.com Director of Audience and Data Gail Reboletti (224) 231-6363, greboletti@ensembleiq.com PROJECT MANAGEMENT/PRODUCTION/ART Vice President Production Derek Estey (877) 687-7321 x 1004, destey@ensembleiq.com Creative Director Colette Magliaro cmagliaro@ensembleiq.com Art Director Amy Kelkenberg PRESIDENT Consumer Goods Retail Business Jennifer Litterick (647) 946-9219, jlitterick@ensembleiq.com CUSTOMER SERVICE

This is a category still very much in its infancy at retail, and that means it is going to be a learning experience for all involved. By no means is this going to be an easy category to merchandise and market. CBD is brand new to the marketplace, and it brings with it a hoopla and loyal customer base. But this is a category still very much in its infancy at retail, and that means it is going to be a learning experience for all involved. As we note, most retailers are still hesitant to get involved with CBD, waiting for more direction from the federal government on further guidance on the legality of selling these products. But, many predict, that guidance is coming soon and the floodgates will open right after. And, when it does happen, it will mean a lot more profits for retailers and suppliers. Still, retailers need to be careful when they do get involved with the category. Most importantly, the retail community needs to be on its collective toes for any type of malfeasance. While most companies in this segment are squarely on the up-and-up, there are always a few that are looking to make a quick buck from a hot market, especially one that currently has little industry regulations. Enjoy the articles and, we hope, as you read them, you quickly will see the opportunity out there from stocking CBD products, just as you understand the importance of working with credible partners in a category that is just getting off the ground. dsn

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Having a problem with your subscription? Send us full details with the mailing label of the last copy you received, along with your telephone number. Write to: Circulation Fulfillment Director, Drug Store News, P.O. Box 3200 Northbrook, IL 60065-3200; email drugstorenews@omeda.com; or call (847) 564-1468 CIRCULATION LIST MANAGER Elizabeth Jackson MeritDirect (847) 492-1350 x 318. REPRINTS PARS International, LF-Reprints@parsintl.com, (212) 221-9595 x435, tinyurl.com/LF-reprints. Single copy price is $15 for a regular issue and $100 for a statistical issue. PERMISSIONS For permission to reuse material from Drug Store News/DSN (ISSN 0191-7587) please access www.copyright.com or contact the Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. (CCC), 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 646-2600, (855) 239-3415. CCC is a not-for-profit organization that provides licenses and registration for a variety of uses.

CORPORATE OFFICERS Executive Chairman Alan Glass Chief Executive Officer David Shanker Chief Financial Officer Dan McCarthy Chief Operating Officer Joel Hughes Chief Innovation Officer Tanner Van Dusen Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Jadown Executive Vice President, Events & Conferences Ed Several


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD

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CBD: On the Cusp of Success The state of the CBD category is one of both exuberance and caution as retailers and manufacturers wait for FDA guidance BY NORA CALEY

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hile there is no doubt that this is an exciting time to be in the cannabidiol, or CBD, industry, it also is a time of great uncertainty for manufacturers in the fledgling space. With the passage in December of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — better known as the Farm Bill — hemp, including hemp extracts, derivatives and cannabinoids, is no longer a federally controlled

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substance. The bill does state that the hemp has to have a tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, concentration of not more than 0.3%. While the deregulation appears to open up opportunities for retailers to start selling CBD products that offer everything from pain relief to better sleep, so far, many merchants are not exactly rushing into the CBD business. The Food and Drug Administration announced that introducing food with CBD into interstate commerce still is unlawful, and that the agency is working on pathways for the lawful marketing of these products. That has not stopped manufacturers from eagerly developing products and coming up with ways to merchandise CBD capsules, oils, creams and even pet products. The thought process, it appears, is that once the FDA gives complete and final approval to hemp products, retailers will rush to get in line to carry them. “The retailers are waiting for the FDA regulatory platform to be written,” said Paul Carpenter, partner and founding member of New Leaf Pharmaceuticals, based in Newtown, Conn. “They don’t want to put products into a planogram and then have it yanked off the shelf. That’s a difficult position for them.” The Farm Bill allows farmers to plant hemp seeds, said Jason Mitchell, president of MetaCan, which makes Roswell, Ga.-based HempFusion products. That means there will be more farms


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD pain relief. “It seems like a lot of those therapeutic effects from medical marijuana are due to CBD,” said Murdoc Khaleghi, a physician and senior medical advisor for Telford, Pa.-based Elevate Hemp. “What makes pain really interesting is it is definitely one of the more common problems we see in medicine. We’ve never had good therapy for pain, and that is part of the reason for the opioid crisis.” Many topics are going to be researched now, said Laura Fuentes, co-founder, CEO and compounding pharmacist at Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Green Roads. “Now that hemp is not a Schedule 1 narcotic, universities are going to be able to do research,” she said. In fact, Green Roads, which manufactures CBD oil, edibles, pain cream and other products, is working with the University of Florida to research growing patterns of hemp in the states. Fuentes said that there is much contradictory information available, new CBD companies popping up daily and a slow-moving regulation process that hasn’t fully matured, which makes consumer confusion a challenge. As a result, Green Roads is working to make CBD facts more transparent. Green Roads products are pharmacist-formulated with custom proprietary product formulas, using an advanced clean extraction process. Green Roads also utilizes multistage third-party lab testing to ensure product potency, quality and safety, and includes QR codes on all packaging, linking products back directly to the third-party test results. There has been much research, and more to come, on how CBD affects specific areas of the brain. The science will help retailers, especially drug stores, to become more interested in participating in the space. “All of the big chains are now looking at this,” said Brad Halpern, chief marketing officer at Los Angeles-based Be Trū Organics. “The industry is waiting to explode.” growing hemp plants, but it does not necessarily mean retailers are going to get into the hemp or CBD business right away. Still, some smaller merchants are carrying CBD products. “They may be independent compounding pharmacies or family-owned chains,” he said. “They are starting to expand their offerings.” Other retailers, including health food stores, regional chains, spas and salons, and online sellers have entered the category, too. Some retailers are hinting that they will soon offer such topical products as salves and creams, but not such ingestibles as capsules and gummy bears. That is a prudent approach, according to Tony Tomassini, chief marketing officer of Functional Remedies, based in Superior, Colo. “Retailers see the opportunity, and they want to capitalize,” he said. “We applaud anybody who is more concerned with being right than being first. That’s our conservative way forward — go to market right versus right now.” Functional Remedies, which manufactures hemp oil products, is partnering with retailers to educate consumers about the category. “Educating the buyer and the consumer is of utmost importance to us, especially in this stage of the game,” Tomassini said. “We want them to make informed decisions about buying any product in this category.”

THE RESEARCH Consumers and retailers make informed decisions by reading the research, and much of the research points to benefits of CBD for

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Special Report: CBD DRUGSTORENEWS.COM

WHAT RETAILERS SHOULD DO When the industry does explode, retailers can position themselves as the ideal place to buy CBD products. “Many consumers don’t feel comfortable purchasing these products from the smoke shops that have traditionally carried them,” said Jason Roth, CEO of Boulder, Colo.-based Mile High Labs. “They would much rather buy it like they do any other medicine or supplement — from a trustworthy pharmacy or drug store.” He cautioned that hemp makes many stops along the way to becoming CBD. “Data can become misconstrued, and packaging mislabeled,” Roth said. Retailers should ask such questions as where the hemp is grown, whether it has been tested for contaminants, how it is processed, and whether the manufacturer extracts the CBD on its own or purchases it from another company. Consumers assume that retailers have done this due diligence, according to Courtney Roundy, founder of Salt Lake City-based Harmony Hemp. Manufacturers can help by offering such information as farm-to-lab traceability, certificates of analysis and other information. “Know your supplier is legitimate,” he said. Some retailers, especially the drug store chains, already have wellness initiatives, so it makes sense to partner with suppliers that have similar missions. “We genuinely care about the customer,” Roundy said. “This is all about wellness. Treat your system not your symptoms.”


SPECIAL REPORT: CBD IN-STORE DETAILS The top segments in CBD are sleep, anxiety and musculoskeletal pain, said Scott Raybuck, president of Cleveland-based ZuRI CBD Supply. Baby boomers, with their ailments, knee and back pain, and sleep issues, are the prime purchasers of CBD. “The 50-plus age group is by far the biggest,” he said. Pet products, such as for separation anxiety, also are gaining popularity. What is driving the CBD boom, Raybuck said, is that it is an ingredient that the body has been missing. Humans and animals have endocannabinoid systems, and if they are not consuming cannabinoids, the systems are deprived. He likened it to taking supplements to make up for an iron deficiency. This essential nutrient explanation is one that many manufacturers use. “Hemp is a very edible plant and a huge source of nutrients,” said Ryan Lewis, founder of Las Vegas-based Global Cannabinoids. “People didn’t realize we need hemp in the diet. As people get more educated, hemp becomes more accessible.” The analogy he used: a lack of vitamin C can result in scurvy. CBD has neuro-protecting capabilities, which suggests that a lack of it plays a role in the rise of Alzheimer’s and other degenerative brain diseases, he said.

MERCHANDISING Even though manufacturers can explain many benefits related to CBD, the products do not fit neatly into one category the way vitamins or analgesics do. Retailers might wonder where to merchandise the products. A dedicated hemp section is the best way to merchandise the products, said Blake Patterson, president of Denver-based MarketHub, a company that works with manufacturers and retailers to set up Hemp Health Zones for any class of trade. “We are seeing more and more retailers gravitate to compartmentalization theory, where my pet lives next to my pain, which lives next to my anxiety,” he said. “It sounds completely chaotic, but it’s the best way to introduce a new category for now until there’s brand loyalty.” He also said that packaging plays a role, and labels that have such callouts as “calm” or “serenity” are effective because consumers shop according to need states. Drug stores should merchandise CBD products differently from mass retailers, said Perry Antelman, CEO of Abacus Health Products, based in Woonsocket, R.I. “You go to drug stores

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because you have one or two things you want to pick up,” he said. “If you are looking for something for pain, you make a beeline for the pain section. If you have a product that was CBD-based and it’s on an endcap, you walk right past it.” Mass retailers, where shoppers spend more time and there is more opportunity for stocking up purchases and impulse buys, are better places to put CBD products on an endcap. “People are waiting in line for a cash register, and they look around,” Antelman said.

GREEN RUSH While merchandising is one key element for success in this new category, Antelman said education is the most important matter. Retailers need to be able to differentiate which companies are offering safe and legal products, and which companies simply are jumping into a newly lucrative category. The latter, he said “are running to the green rush.” While the term “green rush” once referred to entrepreneurs moving to states where medical and recreational marijuana have been legalized, the term also refers to new businesses cashing in on the hemp industry. “The cannabis/CBD/hemp green rush is unlike anything experienced in retail,” said TJ Stouder, co-founder and CEO of Denver-based Holistik Wellness. “Consumers across all demographics are rushing to stores looking for any buzzword in the category, ready to buy.” Matt Wolf, CEO of Denver-based Uleva, described the state of the CBD category at mass retail with this scenario: “It’s almost like a herd of wildebeest in a river bank, dipping their toe into the water, trying to decide if they want to jump in or if there are crocodiles,” he said. “Uleva believes it’s croc-free and the water’s fine.” There will be much growth in the near future. “We are excited with the growth potential in the next 12-to-24 months,” said Todd Davis, CEO of Cave Creek, Ariz.-based CBD Unlimited. “We project the CBD industry to exceed $2 billion in sales by late 2020. Education and the customer’s positive therapeutic experience have been the foundation of our products in the early development of this nascent industry.” CBD has the potential to be a multibillion-dollar category, MarketHub’s Patterson said. “It covers so many things — anxiety, pain, sleep, inflammation, beauty,” he said. “You look at all these different pieces, and you look at demographics, it’s for every age group, male, female and the family pet. It’s phenomenal.” dsn


SPECIAL REPORT: CBD

Who’s Who in CBD Here’s a close look at many major CBD suppliers BY NORA CALEY

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ou can’t tell the players without a scorecard.” That famous phrase, usually reserved for the baseball diamond, holds a lot of weight in the emerging CBD category, where dozens of companies are lining up to supply retailers with a wide range of products as soon as they get final Food and Drug Administration approval. Drug Store News is offering a close look at some of the key players in the category, who they are and what makes them unique from the competition. In alphabetical order, here is what they had to say.

101 CBD All CBD is not created equal, said Justin Benton, president of Ventura, Calif,-based 101 CBD. Retailers should look for products that contain full-spectrum CBD instead of isolate, because the latter refers to burning down the CBD into a powder, which makes it lose valuable nutrients. “We firmly believe in raw CBD,” he said. The company makes CBD oils in varieties called Alleviate, Chill, Boost, CBD, and Decarboxylated CBD Oil, which is heated at lower temperatures that result in a higher potency. Also available are CBD Topicals, including a Raw Relief Roll-On and Raw Relief

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CBD Topical for soothing localized pain of arthritis, neck and back spasms, and migraines. Topicals are widely used by massage therapists, and are a healthy way to deliver CBD, Benton said. “We don’t do vaping or edibles,” he said. “A brownie might be fun, but you don’t want to eat that every day.”

ABACUS HEALTH PRODUCTS The OTC health company Abacus Health Products recently announced the launch of an advanced skin care line within its CBDMedic family of products. This new line is for the treatment of acne, eczema, and itch and rash, and will include four topical products, including ointments, creams and facial cleansers. The products will utilize FDA-monograph active pharmaceutical ingredients and cannabinoids, and will be formulated with natural and organic ingredients. The Woonsocket, R.I.-based company has several new products in its pipeline, and in the next two years plans to launch CBD products for foot pain, dermatology, acne, anti-inflammatory, and eczema itch and rash.


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD “One hundred million Americans suffer from acute or chronic pain,” said CEO Perry Antelman. “The major retail pharmacies are hungry for these products.”

BE TRŪ ORGANICS Be Trū Organics is a Los Angeles-based company that makes Be Trū Wellness products. The hemp comes from 100% certified organic farms in Switzerland, and the hemp extract is organic, all natural, pure, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and is processed in an ISO 9000 GMP-certified lab. The company also uses nanotechnology that splits one particle into 14 million particles for better absorption and longer-lasting effects. These are important attributes in an already crowded industry. “There are over 150 companies making products that are unregulated,” said chief marketing officer Brad Halpern. “A lot of products look like they are made in someone’s garage.” Be Trū Wellness products include body pain relief cream, body pain relief patch, dream beverage drops for sleep, mind daily gummy chews, energy beverage drops and focus beverage drops. For pets, there are Catchies Feline Hemp Oil with coconut oil and catnip oil extract, and Dogchies All-Natural Hemp Complex.

CANNABLISS ORGANIC The wife and husband team of Melissa and Nick Christensen, who founded Cannabliss Organic, have family roots in the beauty industry and past experience in hemp wellness and cultivation. The Aurora, Colo.-based company makes skin care products with a high concentration of full-spectrum hemp oil that is specially blended with ancient Korean herbs to work in synergy with the body and to nurture and heal. The products include Bliss Body Oil, Bliss Kiss Balm, Foaming Cleanser, Hemp Salve, Moisturizing Lotion and other products available in prestige stores and resorts.

CBD CARE GARDEN The focus for CBD Care Garden is hemp-based wellness and beauty. The Denver-based company sells such products as antiaging face products, body butter and body washes in high-end resorts and spas. “We are in pretty much every state now,” said CEO and co-founder Vanessa Marquez. “I think retailers have been chomping at the bit to get involved.”

CBD UNLIMITED CBD Unlimited, headquartered in Cave Creek, Ariz., has been a leader in the hemp-based CBD industry since 2014. Products come to market under the CBD Unlimited brand, as well as the PhytoBites line of products for pets. Early in 2015, the company realized the need for education and information within the CBD product segment. This led to multiple doctor-led case studies to help determine the most effective forms of delivery and to define dosing guidelines. This research helped lay the foundation for product

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD CHARLOTTE’S WEB Charlotte’s Web said its purpose is “To better the planet and the people living upon it.” The company is doing this with high-quality hemp extract, in such products as CBD Oils in Full-Strength, Extra Strength and Original Strength. Hemp Capsules with CBD, plus naturally occurring phytocannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids help provide support for normal, everyday stresses and recovery from exercise. Charlotte’s Web is based in Denver and manufactures in Boulder, Colo. “It’s obviously working for enough people, they are shouting from their social media rooftops,” said co-founder and chairman Joel Stanley.

CURALEAF Curaleaf has several brands, including Curaleaf Hemp, which makes natural, nonintoxicating products for a better quality of life. The Wakefield, Mass.-based company said the effective hempbased CBD products meet the strictest quality standards in the industry. Products are available in such categories as Pure, Relieve and Revive, and include lotions, drops, patches, softgels and vape pens. All Curaleaf Hemp products are made with the highest quality ingredients from the full-spectrum CBD oil to the premium essential oils, company officials said. All CBD is tested before formulation and all products are batch tested before distribution, company officials said.

ELEVATE HEMP The official partner of Spartan Race, Elevate Hemp Extract delivers a wide spectrum of mind-body health benefits and works naturally to lessen pain-causing inflammation as it targets the body’s cannabinoid receptors to actively suppress pain, according to company officials. Available in soft gel caps, mint chewing gum, dissolvable strips, liquid drops, oral spray and topical cream, Elevate’s full-spectrum hemp extract is manufactured to pharma standards in a current Good Manufacturing Practices FDA-registered facility. Telford, Pa.-based Elevate Hemp tests the products to ensure hemp extract potency and for the absence of foreign ingredients and microbial contamination. forms, formulations and dosing guidelines within the current product assortment. CBD Unlimited offers specific delivery methods: topical mist and balm, as well as tinctures and adaptogen herbal capsules, which include a nighttime formulation. The Phyto-Bites brand features dual-delivery pet chews infused with CBD to promote pet health and support mobility, and may reduce separation anxiety and pain for both dogs and cats. The targeted SKU assortment is designed to help retailers and customers understand how to use the products, while providing solutions within select, top-selling product categories. Additionally, this targeted product assortment ensures the ability to deliver a consistent supply of high-quality products. This focus will help CBD Unlimited and their retail partners drive positive customer experiences as they enter this new category.

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FUNCTIONAL REMEDIES Functional Remedies offers full-spectrum hemp oil produced with a proprietary, whole-plant lipid infusion process to get phytonutrients out of the plant in a way that preserves nature’s intended balance of phyto cannabinoids and other compounds. “Everyone seems to know the one term, CBD, which is one molecule among many,” said Tony Tomassini, chief marketing officer at the Superior, Colo.-based company. “Through lipid infusion, what you end up with is a true full-spectrum hemp oil that contains the natural balance of phytocannabinoids, terpenes, polyphenols, flavonoids and other beneficial phytonutrients capable of delivering the entourage effect.” The entourage effect refers to the magnified effect of the


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD individual ingredients because they are all present, a variation of the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Another factor that differentiates Functional Remedies is that it is a vertically integrated hemp oil company. The company does not contract with third parties, so it maintains the custody of raw materials, which helps maintain consistency and quality control. Functional Remedies even owns its own hemp farm in Colorado. “Colorado is still the only state that has all of its regulatory requirements in place for hemp,” Tomassini said.

GLOBAL CANNABINOIDS Global Cannabinoids said it is the largest manufacturer of privatelabel CBD products. “We manufacture for some of the biggest brands in the country,” said Ryan Lewis, founder of the Las Vegasbased company. The company makes topicals, balms, creams and other products. The largest segment is pain, followed by sleep. “Cannabinoids really help people with their sleep,” he said. “They really bring your body into balance.” One of the things that sets Global Cannabinoids apart, Lewis said, is the company does not own the hemp farms. The company gets its supply from farms in Oregon and Colorado, and sends products for third-party analysis, which guarantees potencies and confirms the absence of heavy metals and pesticides.

GREEN ROADS Green Roads is a veteran in the CBD field and leads with education first, a key differentiator in the CBD industry. Its experience is widely recognized throughout the industry, and the company recently won the 2018 CBD Product of the Year award from the Cannabis Business Awards. The Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based company has a licensed pharmacist who compounds creams, salves, oils and edible products that are specially formulated with soothing botanicals and natural plant-based ingredients, including precise combinations of the cannabinoid. The products are multistage third-party lab tested, and the packaging has QR codes linked to lab results. Green Roads said its in-demand future products include the new Green Roads Muscle & Joint Heat Relief, launching this month. Green Roads Muscle & Joint Heat Relief is specially formulated to penetrate sore muscles and work quickly. An easy-to-use roll-on, this proprietary blend combines the Green Roads patented CBD formulation with menthol, capsicum, vitamin E and natural botanicals to deliver targeted relief when users need it most.

HARMONY HEMP The slogan for Harmony Hemp is: “Treat your system, not your symptom.” The Salt Lake City-based company offers several products, including the NeuroComfort line. NeuroComfort Neuropathy Support Water Miscible Hemp Extract is designed to help regulate and aid the endocannabinoid system to help treat the source

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD of nerve pain. NeuroComfort Nerve Health with Hemp Seed Oil is specially formulated based on extensive research focused on rebuilding nerves and relieving pain associated with neuropathy. Harmony Hemp also makes such supplements as Brilliant Mind Brain Support capsules designed to enhance cognitive function with water miscible hemp extract. Its Flexible Joint Support is meant to enhance the body’s natural lubrication and prevent joint deterioration, while aiding in everyday aches and pains. In personal care, Harmony Hemp Hydration with Essential Oils uses essential oils and organic moisturizers to naturally relieve itchy, dry skin, and HempBath Bombs are packed with premium hemp seed oil and other natural essential oils combined with organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter.

HOLISTIK WELLNESS To make it easier to deliver a dose of CBD, Holistik Wellness makes beverage stir sticks containing water-soluble full-spectrum hemp extract. The stirrers also contain other natural active ingredients. The products include Holistik pain with white turmeric, Holistik sleep with melatonin and chamomile, Holistik beauty with collagen, and HOLISTIK recover with white turmeric and ginger. “Holistik Wellness is a brand committed to simplifying the cannabis landscape, delivering products that are easy to understand and can fit into the day of new and experienced users alike,” said co-founder and CEO TJ Stouder, who is moving the company to Denver.

LEADING EDGE PHARMS Leading Edge Pharms is a biotechnology company focused on the research, development and commercialization of novel cannabinoid therapies and innovative delivery platforms. The company’s Cannavera product line features its first commercial product, Silvidiol, a proprietary compound formulated with THC-free broad spectrum organic CO2 hemp extract and Emerald Aloe Vera. Cannavera topical oil, crème, ointment and liquid products are natural, nonsystemic, free of THC and marketed as a step-wise approach to pain management therapy in the opioid-alternative category. What differentiates Henderson, Nev.-based Leading Edge Pharms from other companies is the years of research, according to CEO David Chadwick. “If you’re going to reference pain relief and make specific medical type claims, you have to have research to back it up,” he said. “You have a company like ours that spends four years of formulating and doing studies, and then you have folks who get into the business almost overnight.”

MARKETHUB Manufacturers that need help getting hemp-based products in retail look to MarketHub, which calls itself the hemp retail category leader. The Denver-based company offers legal, category management, distribution and merchandising expertise. “Brands have to get to a position where they are ready for primetime, ready for retail and everything it takes to do that,” said Blake Patterson, president

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Special Report: CBD DRUGSTORENEWS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: CBD

and CEO. “A lot of these guys were selling the products at fairs.” MarketHub’s Hemp Health Zones, custom merchandising displays that showcase vetted products, helps businesses make the move from fairs to drug stores. The vetting process means the brands meet certain standards related to corporate structure, sourcing, manufacturing, labeling and other factors.

NEW LEAF PHARMACEUTICALS New Leaf Pharmaceuticals has been manufacturing nasal sprays for 20 years. The Newtown, Conn.-based company recently announced the launch of Rhinodol nasal spray, delivering the CBD using a transmucosal technique to ensure the highest bioavailability possible. Bioavailability refers to the amount of a drug that is absorbed and available for use in the body compared with the amount of drug delivered or administered. Bioavailability varies depending on the route of administration. CBD is a fat-soluble substance and has poor bioavailability when administered orally through the stomach and gut. The company said the most optimal route of CBD administration has proven to be transmucosal or

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intranasal, with between 48% and 62% being absorbed and available for use in the body. “We have products that are very effective and have good bioavailability at a price point the consumer feels they can reach,” said Paul Carpenter, partner and founding member of New Leaf Pharmaceuticals. “If they are trying a $10 or $15 product that you swallow and the absorption rate is 8% to 12%, it’s not going to be effective, and you lose them forever.”

METACAN While CBD is a hero ingredient, other ingredients also contribute to a healthy endocannabinoid system. For example, black pepper fruit and clove oil contain terpenes, so the oil is an important ingredient in HempFusion Digestive, HempFusion Hemp Extract, HempFusion Sleep and HempFusion Stress. New from HempFusion is hemp extract liquid with black seed oil. “It’s a very effective oil, loaded full of omega acids,” said Jason Mitchell, president of MetaCan, the Roswell, Ga.-based company that makes HempFusion products. “Even for the oils used as a contributing carrier oil, we want


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SPECIAL REPORT: CBD so consumers want to try CBD products. Retailers can succeed in this booming category by merchandising the products in the store. “Detailed packaging, educational endcaps and engaging shelf talkers help to close a sale by building consumer trust and brand loyalty,” he said.

PRANA PRINCIPLE Castle Rock, Colo.-based Prana Principle has been in the supplement industry for 24 years, and has a dedicated legal team that can answer questions regarding the legality of CBD. Prana Principle, a brand of APAX Brands, packages and presents products in a way that allows it to be shipped to all 50 states. Prana’s Full Spectrum Phytocannabinoid-Rich Hemp Oil Extract Soft Gels and Full Spectrum Phytocannabinoid-Rich Hemp Oil Extract Tinctures contain nonpsychoactive phytocannabinoids and such compounds as CBD, cannabigerol, cannabinol and cannabichromene with a range of naturally preserved terpenes. The products are monitored through third-party labs regularly to ensure they remain at 0% THCcontent. “The last thing retailers need is you send hot product that is high in THC, and a consumer tests positive,” said CEO Sebastien Hebbelinck. New from Prana Principle are products for pain with CBD and curcumin, which has inflammatory effects, and CBD and melatonin for sleep.

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to make sure we don’t add chemicals. We try to make things as natural as possible. Every ingredient we use plays a role.” Mitchell said the research suggests that if the body is deficient in omega-3 oils, the endocannabinoid system may not be functioning. New products include Twist, which is available in peach mango and key lime and orange sherbet and orange citrus flavors. The user simply mixes a spoonful in water. It’s completely soluble, so it makes taking these products a pleasure, Mitchell said.

MILE HIGH LABS Mile High Labs is an industrial-scale cannabinoid extractor that produces a considerable amount of the CBD full spectrum, distillate and isolate available on the market today. The company operates the only end-to-end Good Manufacturing Practice-certified extraction facility in North America, and said the industry’s most recognizable and successful brands rely on Mile High Labs’ CBD as their main active ingredient. Based in Boulder, Colo., the flagship extraction facility is in Loveland, Colo. The category is getting much attention, CEO Jason Roth said,

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Uleva Products offers full-spectrum hemp extract herbal supplements rich in phytocannabinoids to help support the body’s endocannabinoid system. Each of Uleva’s six formulas has been combined with specific herbal ingredients to provide hemp-based support for a healthier lifestyle. The six formulas are Digest with ginger, Flex with glucosamine and chondroitin, Fuel with green tea, Relax with Ashwagandha, Relieve with turmeric, and Sleep with melatonin. Contract Pharmacal manufactures Uleva in Hauppauge, N.Y.

ZURI CBD SUPPLY ZuRI offers more than 70 SKUs of CBD products, including wellness drops, topicals and pet items. The CBD Isolate is double tested to ensure zero THC content, and the company uses organic, nonGMO ingredients in its formulas. Retailers in all channels, from drug chains to shoe stores, are asking for the products, said president Scott Raybuck,. “Everyone that was sitting on sidelines with the legality issue is getting into the CBD market,” he said. “We have a rep that brought on 22 drug stores in one month.” The Cleveland-based company offers training for retailers so they can answer consumer questions about the products and about the CBD category overall. ZuRI CBD is planning several product launches, including cosmetics, supplements and sports recovery. “Sports organizations are taking CBD off the banned substance list,” Raybuck said. “People are living longer, their bodies are wearing, and they don’t want to live with that pain or anxiety.” dsn


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Drug Store News - CBD Special Report (03/19)  

Drug Store News - CBD Special Report (03/19)