Retailer Responsibility to Educate and Advance the Industry

CBD has become a leading dietary supplement nationwide with vendors jostling to carry the leading brands for their customers. In the United States, CBD retail sales topped $1 billion in 2019 and by 2024 they are expected to surpass $10 billion.

Kristen Nichols who is the editor of the 2nd Annual Hemp & CBD Industry Factbook states, "We project retail CBD sales will increase to $10.3 billion by 2024, a five-year compound annual growth rate of 54 percent.” 

With so much profit at stake, retailers should also take the necessary steps to educate and help advance the industry instead of focusing solely on profit and market opportunity. There are a few key considerations that all CBD retailers need to keep in mind. 

Know the Products You Are Selling

This might sound like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at how many retailers do not truly know the brands that they are committed to selling. The 2018 Farm Bill made CBD extracted from hemp legal nationwide. The legalization paved the way for commercial companies to increase the production of CBD products and flood the marketplace. It’s a market opportunity that many retailers have jumped into without fully understanding the product or the brands.

THC Requirements

CBD retailers must understand that CBD is extracted from either hemp or marijuana. Under the Act, only CBD extracted from hemp is legal in all 50 states. CBD compounds are required to carry less than 0.3% THC by law. A retailer must make sure that their CBD products are extracted from hemp and contain less than the legal amount of 0.3% THC by dry weight. If CBD products are not obtained from hemp then they are under regulation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Cleanliness of the CBD Products

Not all CBD products are created equal. Ideally, the retailer should know the cannabinoids in the products they are carrying (full spectrum, broad spectrum, or isolate), the possibility of any residual solvents, and ensure that the CBD contains no herbicides or pesticides. The brand’s country of origin is also important. Ideally, the vendor should be ready for full transparency when it comes to the sourcing and supply chain of the CBD products they are carrying.

Due Diligence

Retailers should always have a deep understanding of the vendor and the brand’s history before agreeing to sell CBD products. This must include their history within the cannabis industry, licenses, certificates, financial health, safety profile, manufacturing practices, and any litigation history. Where are the products sourced? What is their testing protocol? Selling brands that are producing ineffective or potentially harmful CBD products the retailer and the entire CBD industry at risk.

Strong Contracts

Vendor contracts should always be strong with no holes or drafting errors. This is especially important with any new CBD vendors which might be over-leveraged or have other risks that have not come to light. As a retailer, it is important to perform your due diligence and always secure insurance.

Participate in the Community to Inspire Positive Changes

The retail market is projected to make up to 60% of the sale of CBD products in the USA. With such a high percentage, there comes a certain amount of power to make an impact in the realm of hemp and cannabis. Retailers offering CBD products should belong to PACs, trade associations, and other groups that are dedicated to advancing the industry. Ideally, retailers need to step to the plate and actively participate in shaping cannabis legislation and the regulation of hemp-related products without being overly political.

Monitoring Legal Status

Legalities in individual states constantly change but each retailer must stay on top of the regulations. Despite being legal, many states such as Nebraska, South Dakota, and Idaho have a hostile reputation when it comes to CBD. A retailer might not want to carry a CBD line in such locations. In California, New York, and Maine, some local authorities and health officials have removed CBD food and supplements from health food stores and restaurants. The legal landscape is always changing, and it is the retailer’s responsibility to stay up to date.

Online Advertising

State and federal regulations often monitor the sale and advertising of all CBD products. Social media has very stringent requirements that are in place about CBD advertising. The FTC and the FDA both diligently pay attention to advertising in an effort to prevent bogus health claims and control the so-called ‘snake oil salesmen’ that often proclaim that a dietary supplement like CBD can ‘cure’ a multitude of diseases with no concrete scientific proof.

Retailers should always feel passionate about the CBD products that they market and with their commitment they should also work to educate and advance the industry. At Also Organics, we stand behind our CBD line. Please contact us to learn more.

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