Recent articles at Axios and the Wall Street Journal lay out the current state of play in the CBD industry. Basically, the CBD industry is at a standstill because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still hasn’t come out with rules and, worse than that, the little that they have said is to warn consumers about the potential drawbacks of CBD-infused foods and drinks.
This is beneficial to CBD startups in that the FDA’s warnings will prevent larger companies, such as Coca Cola and Pepsi, from entering the market at the moment but it’s not all positive for startups. The problem for startups will not be in having large food companies entering the marketplace, which is good, but rather the fact that it may become more difficult for startups to find large distribution partners.
Over the holidays, I did see CBD-infused products at Kohl’s while I was returning something from Amazon, so there are at least some retailers that are willing to take a chance on CBD products. Their thinking probably goes something along the lines of “CBD will be a big market and we want to get out in front of that” but if the FDA comes out with something more than notes of caution then you can expect those retailers to at the very least curtail their CBD-infused stock.