Big dollars are undeterred by red tape tangle and inconsistent enforcement

North American businesses are still investing millions in the CBD hemp market, despite the uncertainty generated by new legislation and clampdowns on retailers.

Many US and Canadian firms have recently acquired nascent businesses in a raft of deals.

Canadian firms Tilray and SOL Global, and US company Cresco Labs, are all starting or expanding their cannabidiol interests.

Tilray’s acquisition of Winnipeg-based hemp food business Manitoba Harvest was one of the largest acquisitions in the firm’s history. Tilray president and CEO Brendan Kennedy described it as “a milestone for the cannabis industry”.

The company plans to leverage Manitoba Harvest’s expertise in cannabinoids to develop new product ranges, some to be released this summer.


Firepower to the network


Manitoba Harvest told CBD-Intel it will partner with Tilray to develop new hemp-based consumer food products and innovative CBD wellness products.

Meanwhile Toronto-based cannabis investment firm SOL Global put $30.6m into the Tennessee firm Blühen Botanicals in an agreement that will create a new hemp-focused subsidiary of SOL called Heavenly Rx.

Co-founder and CEO of Blühen, Joe Fox said the investment would give his company the “firepower” to take advantage of opportunities in the US and global markets.

“We have the largest network of expert farmers in the state of Tennessee who are growing hemp organically, and now we’re empowered to scale our existing facilities faster, expand our farming network wider, and implement the highest international regulatory standards across the board,” Fox said.

“The SOL Global team sees Blühen as a critical element in their aggressive CBD market expansion plans.


Aiming to demystify


Also joining the CBD rush is US cannabis operator Cresco Labs, which is forming a new wellness subsidiary, Well Beings. The goal is to expand the firm’s foothold into all 50 US states “to potentially reach a new customer base outside of the licensed dispensary channel”.

The new company will be headed by Scott Wilson, Cresco’s chief experience officer and a former creative director of Nike.

“The purpose of this new business line is to demystify and build trust in CBD products, guiding consumers to understand the benefits of hemp and how to incorporate CBD-based wellness products into their daily lives,” Wilson said.

In addition to its own line of products, the company will produce CBD versions of branded Cresco Labs products such as Cresco, Remedi and Mindy’s Edibles.

Stakeholders interested in learning more about CBD legislation in the US and CBD-Intel’s analysis of global regulation of CBD should inquire about subscription packages and pricing.

– CBD-Intel staff

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