The passing of the Farm Bill was like putting gasoline on a fire, taking cannabis from a fast-growing niche to mainstream. In a matter of weeks retailers from Barneys to Neiman Marcus, Sephora to Ulta, and CVS to Walgreens entered the CBD beauty game, while Target, Walmart, and Amazon remain on the sidelines—but for how long?
These CBD launches are all happening with the backdrop of former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb expressing his concern about brands and retailers running into regulatory trouble with the clams of cannabidiol cosmetic products. Mr. Gottlieb has clearly never met beauty marketers and their copywriting skills.
Once illegal and somewhat niche, cannabis CBD is operating within a patchwork of regulations that vary by city and state. Some retailers and brands are playing by the apparent rules while others are testing the limits, determining the reward is worth the risk. This gold rush mentality has created a fast-growing global industry disrupting categories from food and beverage, beauty and wellness, to banking and security.
The global consumer spending on cannabis will reach $32B by 2022, according to BDS and Arcview Market Research, around 3x the current level. The flood of products entering the market is only now testing how federal regulators will police it. While legal status and benefits remain somewhat murky, the train has left the station and cannabis is going mainstream.
Colleen Quinn, clinical aromatherapist, formulator, and researcher, predicts, “In the next five years CBD will be a standard beauty ingredient. However, innovative formulations which intelligently combine other plant terpenes with the cannabinoids within hemp will be the science that will greatly impact our skin’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant function. Moreover, utilising hemp as a daily internal supplement will ultimately be the driver to stimulate our endocannabinoid system and consequently support our immune system.” She adds, “Cannabis will become a whole-body supporter, not just a novel skincare ingredient.”
Any market that is growing at a rate of 700% is ripe with opportunity to make money, but history also repeats itself. As with the gold rush, there will be fortunes made and fortunes lost on cannabis. Make sure you are on the right side of the equation with a complete understanding of the plant. It’s time to get Cannabis 101.
BeautyMatter partnered with Colleen Quinn Consultancy to tap into her deep knowledge of the evolving cannabis landscape to help shed some light on:
- The difference between hemp and marijuana.
- A comprehensive dive into the botany of the cannabis plant and the difference among chemovars.
- Distinguishing a cannabinoid from a terpene.
- Getting a grip on the complexity of the end cannabinoid system.
Photo: Robert Nelson via Unsplash