Naira Aslanian, Project Manager of Kline's Consumer Products at CEW's The Future of Cannabis in Beauty Event

How Can Marketers Overcome the Challenges of CBD?

A brief overview of our speech and participation at CEW’s The Future of Cannabis in Beauty event

Behind the ornate and historic doors of the Jonathan Club in Los Angeles, Naira Aslanian, Kline expert on CBD, kicked off the CEW Future of Cannabis in Beauty event by setting the scene of the current CBD landscape pertaining to beauty and personal care. She touched upon the market size, current regulatory and competitive landscape, and the segment’s key growth inhibitors while making growth projections for the next five years, based on our recently published Consumer CBD Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities.

Following the introductory remarks by Kline, Booth Moore, Executive Editor of WWD, West Coast, led the discussion on the panel of executives from Beboe, CBD For Life, Evio Beauty Group, and Saint Jane Beauty. The panelists discussed the challenges they faced in starting their own brands, along with regulatory issues and concerns regarding CBD and its legalization at the federal level.

After introducing themselves, company representatives discussed their product offerings and positioning in the market. CBD for Life launched into an explanation of the relationship of the phytocannabinoid and endocannabinoid systems, while Evio discussed how CBD is just a small portion of cannabis. Evio was recently acquired by Aurora and is in the process of creating innovative and far-reaching products. Though groundbreaking movements are being made in the CBD space, clinical results are still lacking, which we heard was not as big of a hinderance as expected.

Despite the ever-present uncertainty surrounding the popular ingredient, when asked about their biggest challenges, the executives seemed to come to a quick consensus. Given the lack of clarity surrounding regulations, all the panelists seemed to have issues with establishing a bank account and processing payment. Some even quoted spending an “arm and a leg” on their processing alone, something that other industries don’t even think about. But their problems don’t stop with banking—they extend to social media as well, where the promotion of CBD is often banned. One panelist recalled getting banned from Instagram for promoting a picture of her and her daughter on Mother’s Day with mentions of CBD. There was also a firm consensus about the lack of clarity regarding regulation. One panelist said she had 15 lawyers helping yet was still unsure of where she could sell her products. Yet despite the glaring issues with this budding industry, the conversation shifted to a more positive note.

The panelists talked through what their turning point was and cited that retail support was huge for their growth. It’s much easier to gain consumer trust when products have names like Urban Outfitters, Dillard’s, Sephora, and Walmart behind them. They then went on to say that, given the deep scrutiny CBD companies were under, it was easier for the consumer to trust them. Continued transparency will be a necessary trend as these companies continue to woo unsure consumers. One company rep stated they have their products tested at a third-party lab and send the results to the consumer as a way to push for more transparency.

Kline projects this industry will continue having explosive growth as we move forward, and the panelists seemed to agree. Though this growth and success seems inevitable, the panelists said several aspects need to change. There needs to be federal legalization to uncomplicate social media, banking, shipping, and public perception. Education will be key moving forward. The average consumer is confused about the differences between CBD, cannabis, and marijuana. Regarding the regulations, one panelist said, “Instead of a patchwork system, we need a [solid] framework.”

Kline’s Consumer CBD Products: U.S. Market Analysis and Opportunities report is designed to answer market and regulatory questions that you may have. The analysis reveals the regulatory and legal status, currently available products, marketing channels, and outlook for CBD-based products while examining consumer attitudes and perceptions toward such products. To learn more or simply get a quick highlights fact sheet, please contact us.

Written by Naira Aslanian, Project Manager Consumer Products and Josh Mullenax, Account Executive.

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