CEO Says Road To Federal Cannabis Legalization Must Start With CBD Regulation

By Nina Zdinjak

Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. (OTCQX:CWBHF) CEO Deanie Elsner discussed the hemp CBD extract company’s development, future plans and mission on Thursday at the virtual Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference.

In order to build its infrastructure, the company made many important moves last year, said Elsner.

Those include the acquisition of Abacus Health Products Inc. and obtaining organic certification, product patents and B Corp certification, Elsner told panel moderator, JJ McKay, founder and publisher at The Fresh Toast.

Photo by BATCH by Wisconsin Hemp Scientific via Unsplash

“A lot of our focus in 2021 and 2022 will be evolving our footprint and expanding our presence across the country or across the globe. We’re entering a number of new countries,” she said.

Charlotte’s Web recently announced cultivation in Canada, and the CBD company has a partnership in Israel and plans to expand into Europe, Elsner said.

Charlotte’s Web CEO On The US CBB, THC Markets

Cannabis legalization efforts in the U.S. are further along than Elsner expected, she told the Benzinga conference, with around half of states providing legal access to either medical or adult-use cannabis.

She said she anticipates seeing federal legalization in the next three to five years. “There’s a segment opening up in cannabis. It’s not just medical marijuana.”

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That segment is personal wellness, with a focus on higher levels of THC than what is seen in CBD products, and with products targeting anxiety, depression insomnia, pain and inflammation, she explained.

Charlotte’s Web CEO Says Focus On Transparency, Traceability

What makes Charlotte’s Web stand out is the complete transparency and traceability of their products, according to Elsner.

california's absurd stance on CBD cosmetics
Photo by Anshu A via Unsplash

The company is vertically integrated, which means it is producing its own seeds, extracting its own biomass and has no ingredients purchased from other sources. Said Elsner, “What that has enabled us [to do] is become the world’s most trusted hemp extract company.”

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Those dynamics give Charlotte’s Web a strong foundation to enter the cannabis space, as 50% of consumers want to move into cannabis, she said.

The first thing that should be done is to get CBD regulated, with medical and recreational cannabis regulated next, in Elsner’s view, because that’s the framework to regulate cannabis.

Elsner On Cannabis As Consumer Packaged Goods Product

With consumers dictating the development of the industry, Elsner said that the cannabis sector is going to move into the consumer packaged goods category.

Consumers are coming to industry via CBD, but quickly transitioning to cannabis — for personal wellness reasons.

“And so, Charlotte’s Web is in a position to be the bridge between CBD and cannabis wellness, and that category expands our total available market by three to four times.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.