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CBD foods’ appeal grows despite lack of federal approval

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Roberta Wilson’s father, Norm, was a dermatologist and known for his comforting and comedic manner. Her mother, Audrey, was a pharmacist and passionate baker whose chocolate chip cookies were famous in her Southern California community. So, when Ms. Wilson and her brother Jeff Koz began a cannabis business using her mother’s cookie recipe, they figured it was only appropriate to pay homage to their healthcare professional parents.

That’s why in 2016, they pivoted Ms. Wilson’s bakery business, Audrey’s Cookies, into a new venture called Dr. Norm’s. The Los Angeles-based business offers lines of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) baked products. The company’s California hemp-based CBD isolate, which contains no THC or psychoactive properties, is lab tested to determine its strength and quality before being mixed into the family cookie recipe at 15 mg per cookie. Testing the CBD oil is not required by California or federal law, but the company does so to ensure safety, accuracy and consistency. The isolate ensures that only the beneficial properties of the CBD oil make it into the product. The terpenes and other cannabinoids found in hemp extract that have a strong and unappealing taste are eliminated.

“When you’re an edibles company, it’s all about taste and efficacy,” Ms. Wilson said. “We decided to stay true to our mission, which was to make these cookies taste great. You just taste the cookie, not the cannabis.”

Sold across the country online and in CBD retailers, Dr. Norm’s has a wide consumer demographic. And its sales reflect national trends for CBD edible products, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“From elderly who love them for arthritis or sleep to young people dealing with COVID and anxiety to the middle-aged for aches and pains, our customers cut across a broad range,” Ms. Wilson said.

Dr. Norm’s is one of many companies competing for a share of the national CBD market — one that reached $4.1 billion in sales in 2019, according to the research firm Brightfield Group. Within the larger CBD market, edibles that include baked goods saw $90.5 million in sales. CBD beverages reached $143 million in sales and other edibles like gummies totaled $309 million. Tinctures, which are used to apply CBD oil to a variety of products, remain the biggest seller with $1 billion in sales last year.

Despite the complicated network of state and federal laws limiting the sale of CBD as an edible or food supplement, the market is projected to grow immensely in the coming years. Brightfield Group forecasts that the total CBD market will reach $24.3 billion in sales by 2025, with baked goods and chocolates estimated to reach $593 million.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Nico Roester on Baking Business

Published: October 28, 2020

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