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CBD gummies may very well be the breakout product of the last decade. Since the FDA took CBD off its controlled substance list, the market has skyrocketed and is set to continue growing into the foreseeable future. Consumers want all-natural ways to treat their symptoms, and CBD seems to be delivering.
While everyone you know is taking CBD gummies for pain, sleep, anxiety, general health, and even fitness, it may strike you that this is a good time to jump into the CBD market and create a brand or open a shop of your own. And you would be correct. There is no time like the present to spring right in, but you need to do your research in order to have a fully developed understanding of the nuances of this exciting business venture. This article is not an exhaustive guide, but it will get you pointed in the right direction for how to get a CBD gummies business up and running. Yes, even in Wisconsin.
Welcome to the Grey Area
Starting a CBD gummies business right now means living in this grey area until the federal and state governments make some clarifications that actually get written into law. Get comfortable for the time being, and study up so you know the challenges you may face in the evolving landscape.
What the FDA Says
The Farm Bill of 2018 made hemp and its derivatives completely legal, so long as it is grown in accordance with strict guidelines and is comprised of less than 0.3 percent THC. CBD was removed from the banned substance list, and it blew up in the market.
After CBD’s wild popularity became evident, the FDA released a statement that CBD is not approved for human or animal consumption, so CBD edibles are prohibited. After more grumbling, they announced that they would specifically work on enforcement for brands making explicit medical claims about the value of their CBD.
What Wisconsin Says
States have the right to create their own laws, and Wisconsin has adopted an iteration of federal law that makes things a bit murkier. The pilot program for hemp farming is going moderately well, and it seems to be pretty clear what you need to do in order to grow and process hemp. But selling CBD is a different story.
For a while Wisconsin maintained that CBD was completely off-limits, then the official state stance softened to CBD being legal, but not for food. That was rarely if ever enforced, as businesses all over the state sold CBD oils and gummies obviously intended to be eaten. Now, Wisconsin maintains it concurs with the federal guidelines, but will not be enforcing the ban on food products.
What the Grey Area Means for CBD Businesses
The fact that the laws on paper are blatantly different from the laws enforced, means you need to keep an eye on everything all the time. Attitudes about hemp and cannabis products are highly fluid right now and are generally changing for the better. Misinformation, lack of education, and an association with marijuana are at the heart of any resistance the market is experiencing.
Misinformation and instability make the CBD market very high-risk from a business perspective right now. Especially in the perception of anyone who does not completely understand the research supporting CBD’s benefits, and what it may mean for people suffering from chronic pain and anxiety all over the country.
Investors, banks, payment processors, insurers, social media, and eCommerce platforms, are all reluctant to do business with CBD gummies companies due to the questionable legality. Brands are finding ways around the rules every day, though, building a robust market despite limited resources.
How to Start Your CBD Gummies Business in the Grey Area
- Know the laws in and out. For the state in which you are operating as well as the states where your customers live. An attorney can help you through some of the paperwork and confirming you are on the up and up, but you need to be able to assure your potential investors, banks, the local community, and the average consumer, of this fact. So get well-versed.
- Decide on Brick-and-Mortar or ECommerce. There are pros and cons to both approaches, and most retail businesses do best with both kinds of stores. Customers love to do their research online, then come in to look.
- Approach Investors. This is the difficult part because you’ve got to allay their fears. Again, really know your stuff and approach with confidence. You should know that running a CBD business whether online or in a shop takes a serious time investment, and it may take six months or more before you start seeing profits. Keep this in mind when deciding how much startup money you need.
- Find a Bank. Some banks and payment processors deal in high-risk businesses, and these are likely the financial institutions you will need to deal with at first. Their fees will be higher, but at least you won’t have to be a cash-only shop.
- Find a Supplier. When people take CBD gummies for pain, anxiety, or any other symptoms they have, they want to know that what they put into their bodies is healthy for them and the environment. Make sure you use CBD gummies that are organically grown in the US.
- Set Up Your Website. You absolutely need a website, even if you just plan on having a brick-and-mortar store. People looking for CBD products need to be able to find you, and you can use your website as a foundation for your relationship with your community.
- Create Content. Content for your website and social media is the main way you are going to build a customer base, especially if your business is entirely online. Do your research to confirm the rules for each platform, then go crazy creating engaging content that informs, educates, and entertains.