What We’re Looking Forward to at CBD Expo Mountain

By Charles Trowbridge

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<p>The availability of CBD to the mass market couldn’t have come at a better time. It bridges several conversations, including prescription medication, health and wellness, cannabis and more. The market is wild, and people are excited. CBD is having its 15 minutes of unregulated fame. However, there are several potential storms brewing on the horizon that could have a dramatic impact on the industry like regulation on oil cartridge production, certain extraction techniques and crackdowns on brands making unapproved medicinal claims.</p>
<p><a href=CBD Expo Mountain hits this weekend in Colorado. It offers one of the best chances to get extraction companies, retailers, marketers, lawyers, researchers and investors in the same place at the same time. The two-day expo is packed with a powerhouse field of speakers and a showroom floor full of every kind of CBD company you could ask for.

Ahead of the show, here are four things we’re particularly excited about:

What’s up with the dosage claims companies are making?

One of the first discussions taking place on Friday morning focuses on the “Science of CBD Dosing.” On a recent Denver Startup Week panel at Cultivated Synergy, one of the speakers said, “I know if I have a headache, I can take 200mg of ibuprofen, and I’m good. I know I can have two beers or one cocktail and still be good to drive.” He was speaking in reference to the dosage problem facing CBD, and cannabis more generally.

While there are certain countries and private organizations that have begun to dig into the clinical research necessary to create more specific dosage information, the knowledge gap still exists. Much of the current research and data is anecdotal, but with a panel full of medicinal cannabis practitioners and chemists, we’re looking forward to hearing what the future looks like for users, medicinal and non-medicinal alike.

The future of marketing for CBD – from brand equity and beyond.

With the rapid expansion of the CBD market comes a boom of companies and products, offering roughly the same thing at roughly the same price point with roughly the same delivery mechanisms (tinctures, oils, drinks, food). Much like cannabis companies, CBD companies are limited in what they can say about their products publicly. Digital marketing, a critical tool in any industry, is rife with roadblocks. Online marketplaces like Amazon contain many restrictions, too.

As a brand elevation agency, we’re always curious about narratives and messaging, and CBD represents both challenges and opportunities. With several tracks on marketing, navigating marketing legalities, and brand differentiation, we’re expecting a trove of interesting information.

What does the data say?

Maybe it’s because so many of our clients are immersed in data, but this particular area of focus is fascinating to us. Publicly traded cannabis companies are getting hammered right now due to the difficulty in sales projections and the shrinking-but-still-robust black market. But, on many levels, retailers and wholesalers have more data available to them than ever before. What are the biggest consumer trends? Which kinds of products are selling in places like grocery stores versus cannabis retail locations? Which states are leading in the production of CBD products? We’ve got a lot of questions, and we’re looking forward to hearing from the likes of Bob Goodman, managing director at CanopyBoulder, and Ross King, CEO and founder of Kind Roots Botanicals.

The good and bad ingredients showing up in products.

Due to the mostly unregulated nature of CBD products right now, the product gold rush has left us reading labels and trying to understand the kinds of ingredients we should care about. Because there are several different kinds of extraction methods, figuring out ways to activate and bond CBD particles into products requires different kinds of chemicals. There are responsible companies and irresponsible companies, just like any industry, and it is crucial to the industry that responsible production and creation beat out the ones cutting corners looking to turn a quick profit. We see a huge opportunity for market education and communication on this front, and we can’t wait to sit in on the panels breaking down the information for us.

It’s going to be great weekend of networking, learning and sharing information. If you’d like to have a coffee and chat, reach out!