CannabisNewsWire Editorial Coverage: Cannabidiol (CBD) products are reaching into the mainstream through a growing health and wellness sector, and savvy companies are looking to position themselves to make the most of this momentum.
- The health and wellness market grown to over $1 trillion globally as of 2017
- Positive shifting regulations globally is opening major international markets to CBD products, especially CBD infused food, beverages and natural health products
- Larger fortune 500 level food and beverage companies are beginning to consolidate this major growth market via major investments and mergers and acquisitions.
In a groundbreaking move, Phivida Holdings, Inc. (CSE: VIDA) (OTCQX: PHVAF) (PHVAF Profile) has become the first CBD company to have their CBD food, beverage and natural health products cross over into major national mainstream grocery distribution in the United States. Isodiol International, Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F) is also expanding CBD’s reach through a growing chain of vaping shops. And the potential for wellness beverages is demonstrated by Koios Beverage (CSE: KBEV) (OTC: SNOVF), with its expanding range of brain-boosting drinks. Within the cannabis market, The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) is providing organic, sustainable cannabis, a source of CBD that meets other consumer interests. And CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI) is researching new CBD products and searching for ways to bring those products to market as the sector continues to grow in size and diversity.
Adding to Health and Wellness
The health and wellness sector is currently huge business. Conservative analysis places its value at over $1 trillion, while at least one commentator cites figures as high as $3.7 trillion. The willingness to make purchasing decisions based on better health and a longer life is no longer a niche interest. From gyms to health foods to counseling, consumers are spending a growing proportion of their income on creating healthier, happier lives.
Cannabidiol (CBD) products have become significant recent additions to the wellness market. Derived from cannabis plants, CBD is an active ingredient that has shown many potential health benefits without the intoxicating “high” provided by cannabis’ other main active ingredient, the THC found in marijuana. Research into CBD is still in its infancy, but that research has shown the ingredient’s potential to improve wellness in several ways. As legal changes make it easier to develop and produce CBD products, those products appear set to take an important place in the health and wellness market.
Reaching into the Grocery Market
One of the companies benefiting from this trend is Phivida Holdings, Inc. (CSE:VIDA) (OTC:PHVAF). Phivida (pronounced “fii-vee-daa”) is a producer of premium hemp oil extracts and capsules, the company provides health-conscious customers access to the benefits of CBD without unnatural chemicals. With a new C-suite management team in place consisting of former senior executives of Red Bull, Proctor & Gamble, Labatt’s and the former CEO of Seagram’s International, Phivida is now preparing to launch a CBD-infused beverage brand and has found a major partner to work with to ensure this strategic move is successful.
Phivida recently announced a groundbreaking exclusive national agreement with Acosta, Inc., a sales and marketing leader for the consumer-packaged goods industry in the United States, to distribute Phivida’s products, including the new beverage. Distributed through Acosta’s Natural Specialty Sales (NSS) division, Phivida’s drinks will be the first CBD hemp brand to cross over into the national mainstream distribution system in the states.
Natural specialty groceries are a significant market in North America, currently valued at USD $4.1 billion and growing. Obtaining a foothold in this market marks a historic milestone for CBD products, as well as a commercial coup for Phivida. NSS’s reach extends into 2,400 regional natural specialty grocery stores and the potential to expand into over 25,000 major national grocery stores across the U.S, including leading retailers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, and Kroger’s.
The major disruptive nature of the rapidly expanding cannabis and CBD-hemp markets have begun to draw attention from big players in the food and beverage industry as well. For example, Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka, recently made a major investment in cannabis company Canopy Growth. And Southern Glazer’s, North America’s biggest wine and spirits distributor, has created a Canadian subsidiary to sell cannabis-infused products.
This trend is one that other major food, beverage and alcohol companies will almost certainly follow. As the market for CBD products grows, forward-thinking organizations will be looking for mergers and acquisition opportunities with CBD companies to gain exposure to this fast-growing market and protect their positions against disruption from the global cannabis sector.
Changing Regulations Drive Growth
The growth of the CBD sector is being driven by a global shift in the legal status of cannabis.
In the United States, regulated cannabis is now legal for both medical and recreational use in a number of states. On a national level, the Senate and House of Representatives are working to resolve differences between the two Congressional bodies’ versions of the 2018 Farm Bill, which include action to legalize industrial hemp. If the pro-hemp language remains in the final version of the bill, it would mark a significant shift in policy at the federal level, making it easier for businesses across the country to grow hemp and produce CBD products derived from it.
In Canada, the passing of Bill C-45 is set to make recreational cannabis legal across the country in October. The bill also includes rules for the production and sale of CBD-infused food and drink, creating a market for companies such as Phivida to sell new products as early as 2019.
Such moves are supported by the work of major global bodies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently completed a report that found CBD is neither toxic nor addictive, making it safe for consumption. The report also highlighted CBD’s health benefits. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances, allowing athletes to use it for treatment of pain and inflammations.
Making the most of this shift, Phivida is focusing on establishing an international presence. The deal with Acosta will provide distribution into a network of more than 27,000 U.S. retail outlets. In Canada, the company has created a joint venture with WeedMD to be the first to market with one of the first-ever federally legal cannabis beverage manufacturing facilities in the world — a major milestone. A deal with Namaste Technologies means Phivida products open the European Union and United Kingdom markets, while another deal with Asayake provides new opportunities for distribution in Japan. These partnerships have helped establish Phivida as the fastest-growing brand in CBD foods and beverages just as that market appears ready to take off.
Building a Business
Of course, CBD isn’t a magic product that will instantly give businesses success. Phivida’s achievements have been made possible by a skilled management team with experience in the beverages sector.
The company’s chief officers are all veterans of Red Bull’s North American operations, where they helped build the energy drink category from nothing to $300 million a year. CEO James Bailey worked as president of Red Bull Canada and held senior positions at Merrell Outdoors, Beneath Apparel, Adidas, Blue Goose and Salomon. Chief Marketing Officer Michael Cornwell is a former director of marketing at Red Bull Canada and was CMO at both Samsung NZ and Microsoft NZ. Chief Commercial Officer Doug Campbell was previously director of sales at Red Bull North America and director of national accounts at Stoli Group. The company’s advisers and directors also bring a powerful raft of experience to their roles, including time spent in senior management at Proctor and Gamble, in executive management at Labatt’s, and as CEO at Seagram’s International.
This powerful team is committed to ensuring Phivida operates with a tight capital structure. The company has more than $15.5 million CAD in cash and no debt. Just over 60 million shares have been distributed or are outstanding. With a fully diluted total of 71 million shares available, the company has ready access to approximately CAD $29 million in cash. With a strong leadership team and financial foundations, Phivida has achieved the first crossover of CBD beverages into major national mainstream retail distribution across the United States, as well as globally.
Surge of CBD
Regulatory change and consumer interest are also driving growth for a range of CBD and wellness businesses.
Isodiol International, Inc. (CSE: ISOL) (OTC: ISOLF) (FSE: LB6A.F) provides a wide range of CBD products. Through its KURE Corp. subsidiary, the company strongly promotes CBD in vaping products. KURE recently announced plans to expand its retail footprint by opening new premises and acquiring existing vaping stores.
Koios Beverage (CSE: KBEV) (OTC: SNOVF) is a manufacturer and distributor of drinks and supplements designed to boost brain function, enhance health and improve productivity. The company recently announced the release of four new flavors of its brain-healthy drinks. Like Phidiva, Koios is turning beneficial supplements into beverages, making the drinks more appealing to a wide market.
The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings Ltd. (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF) produces cannabis tailored to the wider interests of health and well-being customers. Many of these consumers are deeply concerned with environmental issues, and the company’s organic, sustainably grown cannabis means that its products live up to these ethical standards.
CV Sciences, Inc. (OTC: CVSI) is a CBD company with two distinct divisions. The pharmaceuticals part conducts research to develop new products, thereby expanding the possibilities of CBD. Meanwhile, the consumer products division focuses on getting those products to market.
The intersection of the CBD and wellness sectors is creating opportunities for businesses and consumers alike. As laws, attitudes and expectations continue to change around the world, these opportunities will only continue growing.
For more information about Phivida Holdings, please visit Phivida Holdings, Inc. (CSE:VIDA) (OTCQX:PHVAF)
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