Over the last few years, millions of Americans have learned about the benefits of CBD and full-spectrum hemp as it has become more widely available. According to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, the collective market for CBD sales is expected to exceed $20 billion in the United States by 2024.
At Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company, we have created an established presence in the growing cannabis industry by working with several clients in the space. It is our job to counsel clients not only on the PR process but also on best practices within the cannabis industry. We have created deep-rooted relationships with industry media, influencers and thought leaders, attended key expos and leadership conferences and have a watchful eye on local and federal legislation.
2019 was an eventful year in the cannabis industry. Below are some major milestones that the CBD industry has reached in 2019 and how we leveraged these important events for our clients.
- Farm Bill 2018 Passes in the U.S.: On December 20, 2018, the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, federally legalizing industrial hemp in the United States. Once the bill was passed, major companies in the hemp industry have been focused on sustained growth as changes are made in the legislature, as well as in product development.
- CBD Became Available in Local and Major Retailers: In March 2019, CVS Pharmacy was one of the first national retailers to announce that they will be carrying CBD products in stores. This announcement was followed by other retailers including Walgreens, Kroger and Winn Dixie to name a few. D&Co secured Veritas Farms’ CEO on national FOX Business Varney & Co to speak on full-spectrum CBD topical products being available for purchase in national retailers. On top of that, the CBD industry is now turning into franchises. Natural Life Franchise Corp. is the first chain of retail stores that specializes in both cannabidiol (CBD) products, as well as other holistic plants including kava, kratom, turmeric, akuamma and more.
- More News Outlets Became Comfortable Covering CBD: Cannabis was a grey area before the Farm Bill was signed, so in the beginning, very few were touching the topic. Now, CBD has been increasingly covered in the press, although many organizations are still on the fence. After building a convincing case, the Dynamos secured Derek Thomas to participate in a TEDx Talk at TedxBocaRaton to speak about rethinking humanity’s relationship with cannabis and the false stigma surrounding the topic. The audience was all ears, and the talk was a success!
- Legislation Was Put Into Place to Help Cannabis Become Mainstream: In 2019, there were multiple hearings surrounding cannabis throughout the country. As new laws were being put into place, D&Co followed along closely and positioned our clients as expert sources in the industry where appropriate. Two of the several events that we offered our clients for were when the Food and Drug Administration hosted a public hearing on May 31, 2019, to discuss potential regulation for cannabis and the Florida Hemp Program, created by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which was signed into legislation on July 1, 2019, requiring licensees to use specified hemp seeds and cultivars, oversee universities’ industrial hemp pilot programs and monitor the implementation of industrial hemp commercialization projects.
- CBD Products Became MoreInnovative: Rather than CBD products just including tinctures, companies were becoming more innovative and finding different ways to utilize the plant. Veritas Farms found a demand with customers for skincare and launched Veritas Beauty. The Dynamos celebrated this groundbreaking launch with an intimate launch dinner in New York City in collaboration with Foundermade. The exclusive event featured a carefully curated guest list of industry leaders, media, influencers and buyers for an immersive experience showcasing the new beauty line.
- Cannabis Hashtag Holidays Have Become More Known: At D&Co, we identify and utilize hashtag holidays as a unique pitching angle for our clients. There is a hashtag holiday for just about everything, and that doesn’t stop at CBD. To name a few, February 4 is National Hemp Day, August 8 is National CBD Day, and as of 2020, January has been named National CBD Month. In 2019, we leveraged these holidays and secured our client PūrWell in national media including Forbes in honor of National CBD Day.
- U.S. House Passes SAFE Banking Act: On September 15, 2019, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 321 to 103. This was a major step for the CBD industry (and the entire cannabis industry) because banking options were not readily available for the cannabis industry. Several of our clients spoke on the bill as expert sources with media outlets. Currently, cannabis brands, including university research-backed Tanasi, continue to sell via e-commerce channels.
- There was a Harvesting Crisis in the U.S.: During the harvest season in 2019, farmers faced a crisis of losing hemp crop/investment due to drying inability. We worked with Paragon Processing, the largest hemp processing, and climate-controlled storage facility currently operating in the U.S., who offered a much-needed solution to farmers, adding 10,000 pounds of wet weight per hour of drying to its current 3,000-4,000 pounds of wet weight per hour drying capabilities. We put our PR expertise to work to get this news out there that resources were available.
- Organizations and Partnerships Increased: Having multiple clients in the cannabis industry, we know how important it is to give each one our focused attention. We do this by staying up to date on policies and remain relevant and educated within the industry. We have access to valuable resources as Durée & Company was recently involved in the 4th Annual Cannabis LAB Conference, Expo & Career Fair. Our agency is also a member of Marijuana Moment the Cannabis Marketing Association and in December 2019, Durée Ross became a Board Member of the prestigious Florida Hemp Council.
As the industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, Durée & Company puts its expertise into practice by developing strategies and creative ways to promote CBD and hemp through public relations. If you’re looking to bring your company to the next level, call our Fort Lauderdale office at 954.723.9350, Aspen office at 970.452.2195, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.