Blog Post / Article

How to set up a CBD business in the UK

07th Nov 2019.

Since early 2017, it was estimated by YouGov that 11% of British adults have tried CBD. The growth of the industry has sky-rocketed, and the CBD market in Europe has now overtaken Vitamin C. It’s no surprise that British entrepreneurs are hungry for a slice of the action. But despite the nation having warmed to the idea of cannabis extract being sold on the high street, there are still some common social and legal challenges to face when setting up a CBD supplement company in the UK.

While there are considerably more obstacles to tackle compared to other industries, don’t let that stop you. There are a few fast tracks you can take to create your own CBD businesses, such as white label product providers, allowing you to focus mainly on the branding and marketing.

We’re always trying to help upcoming CBD startups and will be happy to offer free advice on the challenges you might face as a start-up in the CBD market. To help you learn about white label CBD, download our information pack.

Sourcing and Selling CBD in the UK

There are no strict requirements that will stop you importing CBD into the UK, but you will have problems bringing THC. It’s essential to ensure that the THC in your plants are under 0.2% in potency.

It’s no secret that there’s an underlying stigma around CBD. This stems from it being derived from the same plant as THC, which is illegal in most cases. With CBD it cannot surpass the 1mg (per-unit) limit. To stay transparent, you should state the CBD levels and THC (or lack of) on your packaging with a full lab report break-down on your website.

Banking for CBD businesses

Obtaining a merchant account for a CBD business can be tough, but fortunately, there are ways to get it sorted. Just not with commonly used high street banks, they don’t want to associate with industries on the brink of legality.

Since the demand for CBD business banking has increased, we found that more specialist merchant account providers such as Paytriot can accept payments in medium to high-risk industries.

Marketing CBD in the UK

In the world of CBD supplements, branding is just as important as in any other industry, and taking the wrong approach will limit your audience. Remember it’s a wellness product, not a medicine, and should aim to reduce the stigma connected to drug misuse.To us, that’s a large reason why not to have a big green leaf and graffiti font on our storefront.

As expected the guides surrounding the promotion of CBD products are tight. Many supplement based businesses in the UK are at the risk of being shut down due to claims of health benefits. Despite the many sources online with evidence of the medical and health benefits brought by CBD, it is not legal in the UK to state them in any supplement promotion. This also goes for promoting Promoting / advertising CBD online

So you’ve set up a legal CBD business, nailed your branding and marketing messages, and set up some online ads, only to be hit with “ad not approved” message. Unfortunately, this is a problem with a mixed array of loopholes and limitations, for example, Snapchat - fine with CBD ads. Twitter, absolutely not.

Approved ads for CBD on Facebook / Instagram do exist, but only specific ones - so don’t mention the words cannabis, weed or marijuana, don’t have an obvious leaf in the creative (as this hints more to association of THC), and you can’t promote any digestible CBD products such as oils, sprays or gummy sweets etc.

A Google Adwords ad won’t let you link to a website that sells CBD, nor will they even let you research data for keywords/phrases that feature CBD - they class it as “unapproved pharmaceuticals and supplements”.

Amazon does not allow you to sell or advertise CBD, but a quick search will show you millions of “hemp extract” products, and they’re completely fine - the wording is key here, this includes your labelling, product descriptions and lab reports. This would be fine, however, this terminology may limit you in other channels e.g. SEO / offline media.

A great solution to marketing CBD online is to focus on organic exposure rather than paid services. Risk-free and cheaper options include developing an SEO strategy, social media engagement, and influencer marketing.

White Label CBD products UK

Still on the fence? You should know that white labelling CBD allows you to start your own CBD company in no time, just check out the following benefits:

· Save time and money on manufacturing and logistics

· Stop thinking about storing your stock and supply chain

· Focus more on the brand personality, less on product development

· Take advantage of our industry expertise by simply sticking your own branding on our products

· Sell a more credible product! Any white label products we make have already gone through a testing process so you’re not waiting for any approval, licence or accreditation.

At Prime CBD, we’re dedicated to helping start-ups with all of the common articles mentioned above. From branding to production and even securing a business bank - we’re a turn-key solution when it comes to sourcing a white label CBD supplier.

We’re very proud of our contributions to the CBD industry, and love to work with start up’s as they discover and develop their brand. Each client we take on has the potential to become a huge player in the game. Some of our clients are now CBD industry leaders, and can be found on highstreet shelves - some are even in sponsorship with events and sport organisations.

The easiest and most secure way to start your own CBD business in the U.K. is to form partnerships and use a helping hand from those already in the industry. At Prime CBD, we’re here to provide consultancy, product testing, logistics and help with accreditation. And on top of that, we’ve got a growing network of industry experts and stockists that will help you get your CBD products to the consumers.

Readers should note that the regulations and data surrounding marijuana, CBD, and other related products are still developing. As such, the information contained in this post should not be construed as medical or legal advice. Always consult with your doctor before trying any substance or supplement.

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