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CBD Going Mainstream amid Flood of New Products, Celebrity Endorsements, and Emerging Consensus about Benefits

NetworkNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Analysts at Brightfield Group see CBD (cannabidiol) gobbling up a sizeable chunk of a projected $100 billion nutraceuticals 2022 U.S. market.

  • $22 billion-plus CBD market could eclipse broader cannabis market
  • Growing consensus about health benefits backed by clinical work, personal endorsements
  • CBD found in everything from beverages and dog treats to pharmaceuticals and wellness products

The opening of the CBD floodgates represents a huge opportunity for plant-based wellness and health-product developers such as Wildflower Brands Inc. (OTCQB: WLDFF) (CSE: SUN) (WLDFF Profile) and Green Growth Brands Inc (OTCQB: GGBXF) (CSE: GGB), a lifestyle-oriented developer of cannabis and CBD consumer products. Similarly, some of the fastest-growing producers in the industry today, such as Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), Green Organic Dutchman (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD) and HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) all stand to benefit as the rising tide of the CBD market continues to see tremendous growth for a number of reasons.

An Established Wellness Ingredient Goes Mainstream

The recent passage of the Hemp Farming Act in the 2018 U.S. farm bill made hemp an ordinary agricultural commodity, swinging open the door for hemp-derived CBD. The industry is seeing everyone from A-list celebs at the Oscars to noted medical professionals such as American neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta extolling the health benefits of CBD.

Already incorporated into to a wide variety of functional foods and beverages, CBD has also started to show up in coffee and cocktails, with CBD drinks being added to menus at bars and coffee shops across America. Many users swear by the efficacy of CBD to combat ailments such as various anxieties, sleeplessness or physical pain. Little wonder that CBD is going mainstream, and product developers have been racing to put the stuff into every kind of consumer product imaginable, from health and beauty items for the skin to tasty treats for the family pet. The accumulating evidence for CBD’s health benefits also owes a great deal to watershed achievements such as Epidiolex, a CBD-derived anti-seizure medication that has been through numerous clinical trials, becoming FDA-approved in severe forms of childhood epilepsy.

There appears to be an emerging consensus among consumers that CBD is strong enough to treat something like epilepsy but also safe enough to be used for daily aches and pains or address the myriad anxieties that plague the modern mind. This awareness, combined with the rapid proliferation of CBD consumer products ranging from vape pens to functional foods, has led to a kind of grassroots market revolution. Any stigma remaining due to laymen confusing CBD with THC is rapidly eroding, particularly with the likes of homemaking legend Martha Stewart now providing her knowledge of consumer products to CBD developers. And household names such as Kim Kardashian, Olivia Wilde and Jennifer Aniston are also going on record as having enjoyed the health benefits associated with their personal consumption of CBD products.

Growing Consensus about Healing Power of Plants

Speaking of A-list celebrities and CBD products, it was the Wildflower Brands Inc. (OTCQB: WLDFF) (CSE: SUN) CBD+ Healing Stick that found its way into the gift bags of the stars during Oscar weekend 2019. Packing a walloping 500mg of highly concentrated, full-spectrum CBD, Wildflower’s cooling and soothing stick is easy to apply for targeted pain relief and skin care, providing relief through a unique CBD blend that includes therapeutic ingredients such as arnica, wintergreen and other essential oils.

A reputable brand whose stated mission is to connect people to the healing power of plants via the company’s increasingly sophisticated line of CBD vaporizers, capsules, tinctures, soaps and topicals, Vancouver-based Wildflower Wellness packs its extracts with essential amino acids and beneficial terpenes, the organic compounds that give plants flavor and scent.

The company’s products are made in the United States at Wildflower’s GMP facilities and are third-party lab tested; they are also backed by a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Such well-formulated, convenient and discrete products as Wildflower’s disposable ACHES CBD+ vaporizer are increasingly enjoying widespread acceptance. This is in part due to education of the consumers by cannabis and wellness influencers.

Wildflower Wellness has even partnered with Bridges General to take that company’s reimagined convenience store concept to the next level. The partnership fuses together the popularity of the Bridges General design-centric retail space that delivers convenience for the on-the-go urban professional with an engaging opportunity to experience and learn about the benefits of CBD. The partnership is already serving some of the most innovative minds in tech at its Lower Manhattan store, as well its Madison Avenue Bridges General store. The company has also engaged Retail Worx to establish shop-in-shop retail availability at more than 20 locations in the heart of New York City’s booming cannabis market.

Industry Seeing Retail Renaissance in Consumer Products

Wildflower also has a surprisingly impressive retail reach for a company of its size, with the Wildflower Wellness brand already enjoying distribution in key states, such as Washington at more than 200 retailers. The company’s California-based King Extracts brand is focused on cannabis technology and delivery systems.

King Extracts’ flagship product, the King Recharge, is a discreet but powerful little pocket vaporizer that comes in its own sleek charging and storage case, which has room for two 500mg cartridges and a backup battery. King Recharge offers fractionally distilled CO2 extractions in exceptionally clean and sophisticated blends that utilize proprietary terpenes in order to deliver a full, robust flavor profile. Sativa, Indica and Hybrid, as well as two limited-edition Sativa flavors (watermelon and bubble gum), are currently available. Additionally, Wildflower’s growing national distribution arm includes over 80 other wellness and healthcare practitioners, bringing the company’s total to some 300-plus stores nationwide.

The company has even branched out into physical retail itself, harnessing the power of increasing brand recognition, a firm footing in the California market and tightly knit relationships with local hospital oncology departments and community programs. The company has launched its own dispensary in Los Angeles and provides on-demand, legal and licensed cannabis delivery services to adults in the L.A. area. The second quarter of 2019 saw the 10th consecutive quarter of increased revenue for Wildflower, with $1.4 million in sales underscoring a burgeoning direct-to-consumer online channel that witnessed 300 percent growth last year alone.

Many analysts are saying that the CBD rush is just getting started. One recent estimate indicates that the CBD market alone could eclipse the entire remainder of the cannabis market combined. Wildflower can apparently read the handwriting on the wall and intends to apply the $1.882 million in proceeds from the company’s recent, oversold private placement to good use.

A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats

Green Growth Brands Inc (OTCQB: GGBXF) (CSE: GGB) is also enjoying the upside as CBD goes mainstream, with increasing traction for the company’s Seventh Sense CBD-infused body care collection. Similar upside is being seen across the company’s other retail arms, including curated product mix Meri+Jayne, CAMP lifestyle product kiosks, women’s wellness focused Green Lily and Nevada-based The +Source dispensaries. Its Indiana shop marks the start of a massive retail push that will see Green Growth Brands leverage newly gained access to some 108 prime retail locations at thriving malls throughout the United States. The push is backed by an $85 million private placement from late last year, which will also bolster the company’s XanthicBiopharms operation and may open the door to a variety of strategically significant new products.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) (TSX: ACB), one of the biggest and fastest growing producers in the industry today, has seen a somewhat meteoric rise since opening the company’s initial facility in Alberta in 2013. Today, Aurora is engaged in an aggressive international expansion, grounded in an increasingly diverse constellation of subsidiaries and strategic partnerships. Global reach and proprietary high-yield production technologies and techniques have put Aurora on the map as a funded producer, which can deliver more than 500,000 kilograms per year.

Green Organic Dutchman (OTCQX: TGODF) (TSX: TGOD), a premier certified organic Canadian producer, is another input supplier benefitting from the increased market exposure CBD has been getting, with 2018 being a pivotal year for the company. Green Organic Dutchman executed two bought deals worth $101.2 million in gross proceeds and pulled another $77.6 million in gross proceeds via private placements. The company was also able to report a healthy $263.5 million in cash and restricted cash for 2018. The Green Organic Dutchman is in a solid position to expand existing facilities and pursue international growth into markets such as Jamaica.

HEXO Corp. (NYSE: HEXO) (TSX: HEXO) is a notable low-cost producer with more than 579,000 square feet of production capacity and a 1,000,000-square-foot facility currently under construction. The company recently moved to acquire an additional 470,000 square feet of production space via an all-share acquisition of Newstrike Brands Ltd., valued at approximately $263 million. This news comes on the heels of the company’s recent announcement that it is the first cannabis company to join the FCPC (Food & Consumer Products of Canada), arguably the biggest voice in Canadian food, beverage and consumer products. This prestigious feather in HEXO’s cap was acquired just days prior to announcing impressive results for what is the first full quarter following the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Canada.

With the 2018 Farm Bill thrusting hemp-derived CBD into the limelight, the broader industry likely stands to experience a rising tide that will lift all boats.

For more information on Wildflower Brands, visit Wildflower Brands Inc. (CSE: SUN) (OTCQB: WLDFF)

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