In the health and wellness market, hemp-based products are becoming mainstream. Many large and small retailers including drug, grocery, convenience, cosmetic and clothing stores have been attracted to the hemp space and carry lines of hemp/CBD products.
In fact, since the production of hemp was legalized as an agricultural commodity with the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farming has quadrupled. Today, more than 1,000 CBD-infused products are available online. U.S. hemp sales are predicted to increase as much as $25 million in 2020 and by more than $100 million by 2022, according to new estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). More exciting is that hemp CBD products in retail and online are expected to top $1 billion within the next few years.
The industry remains cautious as the Food and Drug Administration recently has issued warning letters to companies surrounding labels and claims. Increased clarity by the FDA is welcomed by brands that are focused on transparency in production and testing. The upcoming months and years will prove interesting to see how guidelines evolve and how consumers can ultimately feel more comfortable with these types of products.
At Veritas Farms, we continue to be extremely optimistic about the hemp/CBD industry, especially in the retail sense, and we know this is only the beginning.
The hemp/CBD industry is booming, and it will continue to grow. Many retailers have been successfully selecting and selling quality, well-tested products in their channels, and we anticipate more retailers to come on board in 2020. Best-in-class retailers have focused on premier brands with sophisticated packaging and testing procedures in place.
From a marketing standpoint, retailers may have been hesitant to broadcast their participation in the industry. However, we are seeing more mainstream advertising options becoming available. We envision 2020 being a year where you will see hemp/CBD featured in multiple media outlets.
Consumer education is critical when it comes to retail sales of CBD products. This can be done with in-store messaging. It’s important to let consumers know that the proper testing and certifications by a third-party laboratory for purity and potency has been done, where Certificates of Analysis are available for the products, and that the products have the proper labeling.
Also, as consumers are now looking for products in other categories such as beauty, pet, grooming, etc., we believe that these sections will expand and, ultimately, CBD products will make their way into multiple areas throughout the store. However, for now, a centralized hemp/CBD display in stores is important to create consumer awareness.
At Veritas Farms, we operate under full transparency and invite current and potential retailers to visit our 140-acre farm and production facilities. We are open and honest about the quality of products that retailers are looking to sell in their stores. All Veritas Farms brand products are third-party laboratory tested for strength and purity. We are registered with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to grow industrial hemp.
The full-spectrum hemp oil for all of Veritas Farms’ products is produced at our farm, where we can control all of the growing, extracting, manufacturing and bottling to ensure the quality, potency and freshness of our full-spectrum hemp oil.
To further confirm the safety of our products, we have implemented a Veritas Farms Medical Advisory Board. The initial four members of the board have wide-ranging medical expertise including surgery, pain management, chiropractic, health and wellness, dentistry, cosmetics, mental health, and addiction. This strong group of respected medical, scientific, and health and wellness experts not only monitors all of our products, but assists with development of new products designed specifically for the medical community.
While recent FDA statements will most likely make consumers and retailers to pause somewhat, we hope that focus on proper testing and labeling will be a by-product of any scrutiny. The widespread success of the hemp/CBD industry is just beginning, and we look forward to its limitless future.
Mike Krouskos is vice president of channel development at Veritas Farms. More information can be found at www.theveritasfarms.com or @veritasfarmsofficial on Instagram.