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How This CBD Company Is Tackling A New Market: 'It's Important To Be First'

Andrew Ward

On May 1, Level Brands Inc. changed its name and New York Stock Exchange ticker symbol from LEVB to cbdMD Industries (NYSE: YCBD). It's the first company in the CBD space to list on the U.S. stock exchange.

The CBD company's leadership team and notable sports influencers — including retired UFC champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson — were on hand at the NYSE.

The CBD oil company also introduced its latest sports partner, pro golfer Bubba Watson.

Athlete Endorsements

cbdMD has engaged in a flurry of recent activity in the sporting world.

In late April, cbdMD announced its partnership with the BIG3 professional basketball association to become the league's official CBD partner for its upcoming third season in June.

The touring three-on-three league comprised of retired NBA veterans made headlines last season as the first major American sporting league to allow CBD use.

cbdMD CEO Marty Sumichrast recently spoke with Benzinga about the importance of working with athletes like Jackson and Watson and BIG3 Founder and entertainer Ice Cube.

The player testimonials are key, including Jackson's assertion that CBD saved his life, Sumichrast said.

Focus On Branding

The CBD market is essentially 100 days old due to the recent federal legalization of hemp, the cbdMD CEO said — making the coming months huge for brands.

"Our opinion is that over the next 24 months [or] 36 months, true brands will emerge and there's really only going to be a handful. I think if you're one of those brands, then you're going to create a lot of value. And so everything we do is around branding."

The company's efforts include the aforementioned sports partnerships, as well as being the first CBD company to advertise on a billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

“These are all important things, as they're sort of the horses all coming out of the starting gates," Sumichrast said. "It's important to do it now. It's important to be first.”

What's Next

cbdMD is in "hyper growth mode," jumping from 22 employees to 125 in 100 days, the CEO said. The hiring uptick came when Level Brands acquired cbdMD on Dec. 21.

"I've been doing this a long time, and I don't think I've quite ever been part of something this explosive," Sumichrast said.

Going forward, the CEO said he expects cbdMD to continue its hyperacceleration, with its headcount starting to level off at some point.

Sumichrast said he believes other sports associations should and ultimately will allow athletes to use CBD. When this becomes a reality, cbdMD hopes to attract more athletes from the likes of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and other major sporting leagues, he said.

cbdMD expects to release its next earnings report later in May.

Related Links:

Ice Cube's BIG3 Basketball League, cbdMD Announce Jersey Sponsorship For 2019 Season

Bubba Watson Believes CBD For Golfers Is A 'No Brainer'

Bubba Watson, left, Caryn Dunayer, Marty Sumichrast, Todd Justice and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Photo courtesy of cbdMD.

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