Hemp Industry Looks to Convenience Stores for Growth

New report shows retail channel offers ‘the most tantalizing opportunity’
Image courtesy of Hemp Industry Daily

DENVER —The 2019 Hemp & CBD Industry Factbook touts the amazing growth seen by the hemp and CBD industry in the wake of the 2018 Farm Bill. CBD sales grew 133% in 2019 and exceeded $1 billion in sales, according to the report.

The Factbook, published by Denver-based Hemp Industry Daily, credits growth in mainstream retail locations with the massive boost in sales. CBD products had been relegated mostly to specialty shops—such as marijuana dispensaries, tobacco shops and natural grocery—through 2018. Once hemp was removed from the Controlled Substances Act as part of the Farm Bill, CBD began to infiltrate mainstream retailers, including drugstores and convenience stores.

“CBD producers want to ‘grow up.’ They want their products to move beyond dispensaries, head shops and niche specialty retailers to the mainstream,” Kristen Nichols, editor of Hemp Industry Daily, told CSP Daily News. “And there’s no way to do that without getting traction in convenience stores.”

While CBD has started showing up at convenience stores, the Factbook found the segment has not yet had “significant penetration” in the channel; however, with about 154,000 retail locations (vs. an estimated 2,387 recreational cannabis outlets), CBD companies see huge potential in the convenience space.

CBD Retail Landscape

“The convenience channel is the most tantalizing opportunity available to the current CBD market, and one cannabis entrepreneurs are desperate to access,” Nichols said.

While the Hemp & CBD Industry Factbook offers a complete look at the cannabis supply chain with data, charts and profiles of the cannabis industry, Nichols believes there’s a big opportunity for retailers new to the CBD world to learn.

“The booming CBD channel is new and uncharted territory for conventional retail, but convenience-store executives can look to years of sales data from cannabis dispensaries to find out the kinds of products that sell best, and where sales are flat despite CBD’s growing popularity,” she said. “Executives can access exclusive sales data from the Hemp Industry Daily data team to make smart decisions about products that are new to convenience but old to cannabis retailing.”

Click here for more information about the 2019 Hemp & CBD Industry Factbook.

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