CBD Going Mainstream with Big Brand Involvement

The onslaught of CBD-infused products that will be hitting the mainstream market in the next few years has begun. We are at the beginning of an industry that most agree will be worth billions of dollars. Canada has legalized cannabis and while it is legal in some US states, hemp has more or less been legalized in the US (2018’s Farm Bill by US Department of Agriculture). Legalization in all of these forms, on both sides of the border, has opened the door to hemp and CBD related products hitting mainstream store shelves. The sale of legalized sale of cannabis and cannabis related products has been referred to as the “next gold rush”.

After learning that Mondelez (MDLZ:NASDAQ) announced yesterday, in an interview with CNBC, that it is considering a line of CBD-infused snack products, I decided to look at what other big brand companies are considering CBD or cannabis related products. CBD is a non-psychoactive product derived from hemp and marijuana. This is something quite different than products we traditionally associated with marijuana which would contain high amounts of THC.

  1. Constellation Brands (STZ-B:NYSE): I profiled this company last year on the site and it won’t be surprising if it starts producing and marketing cannabis beverages in the foreseeable future. This has largely been made possible by virtue of its multi-billion dollar investment in Canopy Growth (TSX:WEED, CGC:NYSE) a Canadian cannabis company (which just announced a partnership with Seth Rogen for a new brand called Houseplant). Constellation’s investment in Canopy Growth allows it to have a significant position in both the alcohol and cannabis industries.

  2. Sephora (private company): Sephora has jumped into the cannabis beauty sector and has started devoting store real estate to this category. This is not a big surprise as clean and healthy beauty continues to be a major trend in this sector so CBD related products is a further extension. A quick search on the Sephora website of “cannabis” reveals 23 different beauty products for sale.

  3. Unilever (UL:NYSE): If you read this blog regularly and follow The Capital Pink on Instagram you will know I love Unilever as a company! Check out my “Unilever Products” page by clicking on #tcprecommends on the main page. Unilever is rolling out a CBD infused deodorant product through its recent acquisition of Schmidt’s Naturals this Fall. Apparently CBD fights odour and has anti-inflammatory properties. Look for this at US Targets.

  4. Anheuser-Busch (BUD:NYSE): The owner of Budweiser signed a partnership deal with Canada’s Tilray Inc. (TLRY:NASDAQ) late last year to develop non-alcoholic beverages containing THC and CBD. At this time, the partnership is just for the Canadian market.

  5. CVS (CVS:NYSE): This major US drugstore recently added CBD products to its health and beauty segments. One such brand, Elevate, lists on its website that it is available in select CVS Pharmacies. Among other things, Elevate sells gum, oral spray, mints and cream all infused with hemp extract.

It is also been reported that Pepsi-Co and Coca-Cola are both considering products in the sector but nothing has been confirmed. Without question, for companies like Pepsi, Coke and Mondelez, which have all-American and family friendly brands, the leap to cannabis related products is a big decision. However, it would seem less and less so with each passing month (yes, it does seem to be moving that fast) as CBD and cannabis related products become less stigmatized for the everyday consumer.

**** Above is information not advice! See Legal Disclaimer.

*** Cover photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash