Posted on

cbd oil business uk

This stance is controversial however. Some producers, including Aver, believe that the FSA should work with the ACI to produce a standards framework but some question the CMC’s authority and promote an alternative approach. Dylan Mortimer, the founder and CEO of CBD producer Karma Coast for example, argues that “self-regulatory bodies like CannaPro are setting industry standards and protecting companies with legal aid and guidance”, while the CMC “seems set on taking the industry for ‘Big Pharma’ by introducing impossibly expensive licensing laws”.

As for how it works, there’s still a lot of debate about what CBD actually does to the body, and even whether it does anything at all. The most credible medical trial on humans was conducted by Great Ormond Street Hospital, and found CBD significantly reduced seizures for children with a severe, drug-resistant form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. A 2011 study in Brazil also suggested that CBD helped to reduce anxiety levels. However, medical trials use much higher doses CBD than what is generally commercially available and so this doesn’t prove that high-street CBD products have any effect at all.

By now, you’ve probably heard of CBD. It’s everywhere, in oils, face cream, ice-cream, tea, chocolate, rum, and almost any food/beauty product you could think of. An army of acolytes discuss how it’s helped everything from aching joints to insomnia, and sales are booming. Despite this, confusion reigns regarding what it actually is and how it might act on the body, as well as the relationship to cannabis, and its legal status.

Why CBD is a good business idea

Let’s start with the facts. CBD is not weed and will not get you high. The letters stand for cannabidiol, and it’s one of the chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. The stuff that gets people stoned is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and it’s this that makes smoking cannabis illegal. CBD products produced in the UK however only use the CBD part of cannabis, and often use CBD extracted from hemp – cannabis plants bred to have fewer flowers and a THC content of under 0.3%. Essentially, the virtual absence of THC is what makes CBD products legal.

Anyone wanting to enter the UK CBD market really needs to be aware of the regulations that affect CBD and how these might change in 2020. Currently, CBD is an under-regulated sector and research from the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) indicates that this is already having some concerning impacts. The CMC analysed 30 CBD oil products available in the UK and found that 38% had less than 50% of the advertised CBD content, and one product contained no CBD whatsoever. George Glaisher, co-founder of premium CBD brand Aver, therefore echoes the views of many when he notes that “it is quite clear that the CBD market is in need of regulation to both standardise quality and ensure safety for consumers”. Fixing this is difficult though – CBD is currently controlled by the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) but experts argue that the FSA lacks the resources to patrol the CBD market effectively and will need to work with industry bodies like the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry (ACI), a CMC initiative that aims to enforce minimum standards for the nascent CBD industry.

Away from the claims and counterclaims regarding the effectiveness of CBD, one thing is undisputed – the market is huge and is only going to get bigger. According to research commissioned by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC), 1.3 million users are spending £300m per year on CBD (larger than the combined size of the UK Vitamin C and D markets). By 2025, the market is expected to be worth just short of £1bn, larger than the entire UK herbal supplement market in 2016. Moreover, sales of CBD are not just being driven by trendy millennials looking for the next big thing but cutting across demographics. The elderly are using it to treat chronic pain associated with various conditions, while younger consumers are more likely to be buying CBD to reduce anxiety and combat insomnia.

In terms of how to enter the industry, the primary routes are to either become a CBD producer, importing CBD and manufacturing oils and other products, or to become a CBD retailer and act as a marketplace for CBD products. Those with existing CBD knowledge may also be able to offer consultative services to companies operating in the CBD space.

The recent rise in consumer interest has been driven by CBD’s potential health and wellness benefits. Although more research is needed to fully understand its therapeutic properties, studies have so far suggested CBD could be used to relieve pain, aid muscle recovery and treat a variety of complaints. These include insomnia, nausea, acne, asthma, inflammation, anxiety, stress, inflammation.

As a CBD distributor, sourcing high-quality products should be a top priority. Ensure the products you sell are made in clean conditions in reputable, ISO-certified laboratories. It’s a good idea to choose products made from organic hemp, to minimise the risk of introducing contaminants like heavy metals.

Step 1: Know your market

Once you’ve got your business plan and know where you’re headed, you can start setting up your business.

The Cannabis Trades Association and the Association for the Cannabinoid Industry are among these. Becoming a member of one of these organisations will give you access to resources, advice and support to help your business stay compliant, sustainable and reputable, giving you a solid foundation for success as a CBD distributor.

Another factor is that CBD’s appeal seems to be widening. A 2019 report by the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis estimated that there were 1.3 million CBD users in the UK, valuing the UK market at £300 million.

As the cannabis industry grows, entrepreneurs have an opportunity to capitalise on demand for CBD products.

Keeping up with the latest cultivation techniques will also prove useful, as new practices can yield higher amounts of CBD and cut costs.

As the CBD industry is a relatively new and fast-moving industry in the UK, a number of trade bodies have emerged to establish a framework of ‘best practice’ among their members.

2. Knowing who to hire

Despite a few banks declining applications from CBD companies, there are a number of others that are happy to work with companies in the CBD industry. Try applying to smaller or online business banks as they are more likely to approve your application.

Once your site is online, you’re going to have to promote it. There are literally libraries full of books on marketing schemes, and a lot of how you market and to whom will depend on your own personality and drive.

CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids found naturally occurring throughout the cannabis and hemp plants.

The supply chain issues Brexit has caused have forced CBD businesses to reconsider their business strategies.