The story behind a hemp extract firm’s distributor deals with major grocery, pharmacy chains

(In this abridged version of a case study that appears in the November-December issue of Marijuana Business Magazine, we look at one example from the growing trend of hemp businesses partnering with mainstream companies. Coming Friday: Case study of the Plus Products partnership with Casper Sleep.)

When President Donald Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, it not only made hemp a legal crop on the federal level, it also made cannabis-derived products more obtainable to consumers beyond marijuana retailers.

A side effect of this development is that securing a partnership with mainstream retail companies has become the goal of every cannabis business hoping to reach more customers and potentially see a huge increase in sales.

A hemp extract company in California has already realized such success.

San Diego-based CV Sciences sewed up distribution alliances with two of the biggest players in the food, drug and mass-merchandising retail category: Kroger Co., a Cincinnati-headquartered grocery chain, and CVS Pharmacy of Rhode Island.

CV Sciences’ arrangements with the two retail titans didn’t happen overnight.

Like a lot of alliances, the deals took transparency, trust and time to percolate, said Joseph Dowling, CEO of CV Sciences.

“It takes patience and diligence and the usual sort of adjectives that you would apply to building a successful business,” Dowling told Marijuana Business Magazine, when explaining the art of the deals with Kroger and CVS.

Dowling walked Marijuana Business Magazine through the creation of the partnerships and a look at his company’s future in this case study:

CV Sciences’ alliances with CVS and Kroger aren’t the only partnerships the company is developing. Read about the company’s other collaborations here.

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