Friday, Feb 11, 2022

Your CBD Store Adds Gummies, Delta-8 and New Team Members

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Your CBD Store Adds Gummies, Delta-8 and New Team Members

From pet edibles to vegan gummy bears containing full-spectrum hemp extract, Your CBD Store has recently introduced more chewable products to its proprietary line, SunMed, which is sold in both its corporate and franchise stores. That aligns with a broader trend Your CBD Store is seeing of customers preferring edible products over other methods for on-the-go convenience.

“I think we’ve been seeing the edible piece growing in the industry over the last 18 months, and I think a lot of it has to do with the stigma around hemp-based cannabinoids is really going away,” said Jay Benge, president of Your CBD Store.

“It still exists in many forms in many states, but we’re noticing in states where they’ve legalized traditional marijuana, the stigma around hemp-based products in general has declined and people are more willing to try more delivery methods that exist,” he added.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a part of the hemp plant, a cousin of marijuana that does not cause a “high” by itself, according to Harvard Health. Often touted for its ability to aid a number of health issues, CBD can be taken in many forms such as oils, pills, water solubles, vape cartridges and tinctures, which can be placed under the tongue to allow the CBD to enter the bloodstream directly.

The first Your CBD Store opened in March of 2018, led by founders Rachael and Marcus Quinn. Explosive growth has led to 510 stores open today, some of which are still affiliate agreements that are gradually being transitioned over to franchise locations, Benge said.

“You are going to see attrition” of affiliate stores, “but they will be replaced by new franchisees,” Benge noted. The hemp brand signed on 134 franchisees in 2021, raising its total count of U.S. franchise storefronts to 295.

Bill Van den Acre, who joined Your CBD Store in December 2020 and was recently promoted to senior vice president, hopes to get that number up to 400 by the end of 2022.

“I do believe as the industry, our clientele, and the U.S. population as a whole gets better educated on the impact of CBD and what CBD can do to impact their lives—supported by clinical studies and actual fact versus fiction—it’s popularity will just continue to grow,” he said.

The education piece is a big push for the brand, which has recently partnered with several universities in about six clinical studies looking at how CBD can help various health conditions.

“One of the things that keeps us relevant is continuing to invest in our research and development arm, going down and looking at what is trending, and working with our new marketing firm,” Van den Acre said. That way, the brand “can make sure we come to market with products that are going to be relevant with what consumers are looking for.”

One new line that came out of that research was delta-8 CBD products—not to be confused with its hip cousin delta-8 THC, which is having a moment in the spotlight thanks to a supposed legal loophole in the 2018 Farm Bill.

Delta-8 CBD “gives people an opportunity to experience the health benefits without the high, so that’s really what we lean into on the delta-8 line,” Benge said. “We’re a little later to the market than some of our competitors, but that’s because we’re focusing on the health and wellness aspect and wanted to find a natural, non-synthetic way to include a delta-8 cannabidiol component in our products.”

SunMed product prices range from $12.50 for trial packs to upwards of $150.

In addition to growing its product line, Your CBD Store is also bolstering its corporate team and has hired about 30 people in the last year and a half.

“When we started in 2018, it was five employees working in the basement of our founder’s home, so in a really short four years, we’ve gone from a basement to a five-story building in Palmetto, Florida,” Benge said.

The brand also recently promoted Angela Welsch to vice president of human resources and Ryan Sinclair to chief marketing officer.

“That’s one of the stories we’ve been really excited about internally,” Benge added. Despite the pandemic, “we’ve been able to not only stabilize the organization but grow our franchise model as well as our internal team to continue to focus on the business.”

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