Former Kellogg (K) North America President Paul Norman is betting big on the market surrounding CBD, or cannabidiol products derived from hemp.
“This market is going to grow four or five fold to 20 plus billion dollars in consumer value over the next five years,” Norman tells Yahoo Finance. “I believe, down the road, CBD will be widely available in all kinds of consumer products.”
Norman is now CEO of HeavenlyRx, a CBD wellness company growing through acquisitions and investments. ”We’ll play in traditional categories like tinctures, topicals, vapes, but also we're looking to make a play into food and beverage, and skincare as well,” said Norman.
HeavenlyRx recently announced a stake of at least 25% in Jones Soda (JSDA). The company also invested $30 million in the hemp cultivator Blühen Botanicals. It also acquired Florida based wellness company Airganics last month.
Earlier this year, pharmacies like CVS (CVS) and Walgreens (WBA) announced they will carry CBD infused products in certain states. CV Sciences (CVSI) recently announced a deal to sell their CBD products in 945 Kroger (KR) stores.
CBD products derived from hemp are legal in the U.S. The FDA has so far not regulated the booming market, but recently issued a warning to one company against making unproven claims of product benefits.
Norman says education about CBD going forward will be key, although he sees the consumer already adopting to products derived from hemp. “Eighty percent of people who try CBD already feel the benefit in some shape or form, which is their own perceived benefit,” said Norman. “That consumer behavior is already happening. And our aim is to build a brand or build a business that capitalizes on that behavior and brings real solutions to people everyday.”
Ines covers the U.S. stock market from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.