Author: Dave Neundorfer
Feb 4, 2021 – 6 min read

Last September, we wrote about Gronk, Martha and Playboy as evidence of the CBD market exploding into the mainstream. This list of mainstream brands embracing CBD continued to expand across every category, including Burt’s Bees and Chantecaille in beauty, Vitamin Shoppe in nutrition, Molson Coors in beverage, and Martha Stewart in pet.

In the first month of 2021, we experienced tailwinds as industry stakeholders, from CEOs to Senators, herald the advent of a more robust, sustainable, mainstream cannabis industry.

There’s ample reason for optimism. Cannabis won a sweeping victory in the 2020 elections demonstrating that mainstream support extends across geographies, demographics and political lines. With 34 states (and two territories) with medical marijuana programs, and 15 states (and two territories and Washington D.C.) with recreational marijuana programs, industry advocates’ efforts to professionalize and destigmatize cannabis are finally paying off. 

We could be at the precipice of federal policy change with a supportive administration and bipartisan cannabis legislation on the docket, including the SAFE, MORE and STATES Acts. We are also pleased to see long overdue (albeit incremental) steps to unwind the destructive impact of the war on drugs. Our friends at the Last Prisoner Project recently shared that twelve prisoners were included in the list of executive commutations from the outgoing administration after serving 25 years in prison for a nonviolent cannabis offense. While there remains significant work to be done on the social justice front, it is good to see positive momentum.  

The reinvigoration of this category is a godsend after a tumultuous year, especially for the non-THC side of the market that experienced massive price compression as a result of an oversupply of hemp biomass in 2019. Numerous brands, extractors, and processors became overextended, faltered and failed. Many consider this bust cycle a reset opportunity for an industry that was in dire need of upgraded safety, consistency, supply chain reliability, and customer service. This industry shakeout has spawned a new phase of the cannabinoid market that is being driven by research, therapeutically-targeted formulations, and optimized consumer experience.

Industry maturation will help accelerate regulatory clarity. We are encouraged by the positive momentum behind HB 8179, which would permit CBD to be regulated as a dietary supplement, and by the FDA’s letter in January asking industry stakeholders to help address the gaps in cannabinoid research, particularly as it relates to adverse event reporting, longitudinal studies, and traditional toxicology studies (the team at Validcare and the participating companies deserve a big shout out for organizing and funding toxicology studies for both human and animal use at the behest of the FDA). While we all expected to have regulatory clarity by the two-year anniversary of the 2018 Farm Bill, we believe the FDA’s request for support is sincere and reasonable. As we build our research strategy to ensure product safety and efficacy for the end consumer, we appreciate the guidance from the FDA on the research needed to support intelligent policymaking. 

We recently joined the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR) to help aggregate data and lead the dialogue with federal policymakers on intelligent regulation of the industry. The CFCR has an inspiring leadership team, and brings a humble, collaborative, inclusive approach to policy making, with social equity as a guiding light. With CFCR, we will have a seat at the table in addressing the federal government’s pain points with education, research, and regulatory proposals informed by science and experience. 

Outside of our work with the CFCR, we are also investing in efficacy and safety studies to keep our brand partners on the cutting edge and ensure that consumers have an optimized experience. 

  • Function-specific: We are dedicated to delivering highly effective formulations that target specific need states. Bottom-up, we are isolating and purifying individual cannabinoids and testing to ensure stability and bioavailability. Top-down, we are researching need-state focused formulas and innovative delivery systems and generating the efficacy data needed to back it up. 
  • University collaborations: We are collaborating with leading universities and research institutions who can leverage their labs and researchers to enhance our mechanistic understanding of cannabinoids. Last month, we announced our work with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, to whom OBX will provide pure cannabinoid extracts, including CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, and CBDV isolates and custom formulations, for their team to analyze the impact on neuroinflammation. 
  • European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA): We have joined the EIHA, an organization with constituents around the globe focused on creating an intelligent framework for European hemp regulation. They have also organized a broad coalition to pursue safety studies in support of the UK and EU novel food applications. The data coming out of those studies, though 12-24 months away, will help inform international regulation. 

That’s what we are doing to play an integral role in the next phase of this market.

Here’s what you can do: 

    • For CBD brands, make sure you’ve upgraded your supply chain and refreshed your product lineup to meet the increased quality, consistency, and efficacy standards. If you need support, OBX is a “one-stop shop” supply chain partner to serve your processing, formulation, and manufacturing needs. This market has graduated from it’s single input (CBD isolate) legacy, and OBX offers the broadest portfolio of ingredients and finished products on the market. 
    • For non-CBD brands, start R&D today if you haven’t already. Our 99.5% pure, formulation-ready cannabinoids arm formulators with dozens of input options to create function-specific products and our in-house formulation team stands ready to ideate, iterate, and collaborate. We have evaluated close to 100 contract manufacturers and now have five preferred groups we use for finished goods manufacturing across ingestibles, topicals and pet products. Let us handle pilot scale runs to enable fast iteration and key constituent sampling and evaluation. 
    • For Product Developers, take advantage of the new ingredient technologies on the market, from water soluble cannabinoids to flowable powders, and let us share our favorite delivery vehicles, ranging from 3oz shots to stick packs, mint strips, and Easysnap single-dose sachets.
    • For consumers, share feedback and critique openly and keep demanding more of your brands and of your cannabinoid products. If you had an underwhelming experience in the past, please try again. Check out some of our favorite brands, like Proper, Dosist, and Temper that are leapfrogging the “one-cannabinoid-fits-all” brands of yesteryear.
    • For University labs and research organizations: We want to work with you to raise the collective understanding of cannabinoids. We will always make our ingredients available at affordable prices, and in some circumstances we will contribute ingredients to accelerate learning. Method development is a constant focus for our chemistry team as they ensure that all of our ingredients are fully characterized, validated internally and externally, and as close to 100% purity as humanly possible. To help our clients and research partners up the learning curve, we make videos that outline the recommended ingredient preparation with handling and heating instructions for best results.

For all stakeholders: Get involved, and let us know if you would like more information on CFCR, EIHA or the Last Prisoner Project. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

Author: Dave Neundorfer
February 4, 2021 – 6 min read

Last September, we wrote about Gronk, Martha and Playboy as evidence of the CBD market exploding into the mainstream. This list of mainstream brands embracing CBD continued to expand across every category, including Burt’s Bees and Chantecaille in beauty, Vitamin Shoppe in nutrition, Molson Coors in beverage, and Martha Stewart in pet.

In the first month of 2021, we experienced tailwinds as industry stakeholders, from CEOs to Senators, herald the advent of a more robust, sustainable, mainstream cannabis industry.

There’s ample reason for optimism. Cannabis won a sweeping victory in the 2020 elections demonstrating that mainstream support extends across geographies, demographics and political lines. With 34 states (and two territories) with medical marijuana programs, and 15 states (and two territories and Washington D.C.) with recreational marijuana programs, industry advocates’ efforts to professionalize and destigmatize cannabis are finally paying off. 

We could be at the precipice of federal policy change with a supportive administration and bipartisan cannabis legislation on the docket, including the SAFE, MORE and STATES Acts. We are also pleased to see long overdue (albeit incremental) steps to unwind the destructive impact of the war on drugs. Our friends at the Last Prisoner Project recently shared that twelve prisoners were included in the list of executive commutations from the outgoing administration after serving 25 years in prison for a nonviolent cannabis offense. While there remains significant work to be done on the social justice front, it is good to see positive momentum.  

The reinvigoration of this category is a godsend after a tumultuous year, especially for the non-THC side of the market that experienced massive price compression as a result of an oversupply of hemp biomass in 2019. Numerous brands, extractors, and processors became overextended, faltered and failed. Many consider this bust cycle a reset opportunity for an industry that was in dire need of upgraded safety, consistency, supply chain reliability, and customer service. This industry shakeout has spawned a new phase of the cannabinoid market that is being driven by research, therapeutically-targeted formulations, and optimized consumer experience.

Industry maturation will help accelerate regulatory clarity. We are encouraged by the positive momentum behind HB 8179, which would permit CBD to be regulated as a dietary supplement, and by the FDA’s letter in January asking industry stakeholders to help address the gaps in cannabinoid research, particularly as it relates to adverse event reporting, longitudinal studies, and traditional toxicology studies (the team at Validcare and the participating companies deserve a big shout out for organizing and funding toxicology studies for both human and animal use at the behest of the FDA). While we all expected to have regulatory clarity by the two-year anniversary of the 2018 Farm Bill, we believe the FDA’s request for support is sincere and reasonable. As we build our research strategy to ensure product safety and efficacy for the end consumer, we appreciate the guidance from the FDA on the research needed to support intelligent policymaking. 

We recently joined the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR) to help aggregate data and lead the dialogue with federal policymakers on intelligent regulation of the industry. The CFCR has an inspiring leadership team, and brings a humble, collaborative, inclusive approach to policy making, with social equity as a guiding light. With CFCR, we will have a seat at the table in addressing the federal government’s pain points with education, research, and regulatory proposals informed by science and experience. 

Outside of our work with the CFCR, we are also investing in efficacy and safety studies to keep our brand partners on the cutting edge and ensure that consumers have an optimized experience. 

  • Function-specific: We are dedicated to delivering highly effective formulations that target specific need states. Bottom-up, we are isolating and purifying individual cannabinoids and testing to ensure stability and bioavailability. Top-down, we are researching need-state focused formulas and innovative delivery systems and generating the efficacy data needed to back it up. 
  • University collaborations: We are collaborating with leading universities and research institutions who can leverage their labs and researchers to enhance our mechanistic understanding of cannabinoids. Last month, we announced our work with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, to whom OBX will provide pure cannabinoid extracts, including CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC, THCV, and CBDV isolates and custom formulations, for their team to analyze the impact on neuroinflammation. 
  • European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA): We have joined the EIHA, an organization with constituents around the globe focused on creating an intelligent framework for European hemp regulation. They have also organized a broad coalition to pursue safety studies in support of the UK and EU novel food applications. The data coming out of those studies, though 12-24 months away, will help inform international regulation. 

That’s what we are doing to play an integral role in the next phase of this market.

Here’s what you can do: 

    • For CBD brands, make sure you’ve upgraded your supply chain and refreshed your product lineup to meet the increased quality, consistency, and efficacy standards. If you need support, OBX is a “one-stop shop” supply chain partner to serve your processing, formulation, and manufacturing needs. This market has graduated from it’s single input (CBD isolate) legacy, and OBX offers the broadest portfolio of ingredients and finished products on the market. 
    • For non-CBD brands, start R&D today if you haven’t already. Our 99.5% pure, formulation-ready cannabinoids arm formulators with dozens of input options to create function-specific products and our in-house formulation team stands ready to ideate, iterate, and collaborate. We have evaluated close to 100 contract manufacturers and now have five preferred groups we use for finished goods manufacturing across ingestibles, topicals and pet products. Let us handle pilot scale runs to enable fast iteration and key constituent sampling and evaluation. 
    • For Product Developers, take advantage of the new ingredient technologies on the market, from water soluble cannabinoids to flowable powders, and let us share our favorite delivery vehicles, ranging from 3oz shots to stick packs, mint strips, and Easysnap single-dose sachets.
    • For consumers, share feedback and critique openly and keep demanding more of your brands and of your cannabinoid products. If you had an underwhelming experience in the past, please try again. Check out some of our favorite brands, like Proper, Dosist, and Temper that are leapfrogging the “one-cannabinoid-fits-all” brands of yesteryear.
    • For University labs and research organizations: We want to work with you to raise the collective understanding of cannabinoids. We will always make our ingredients available at affordable prices, and in some circumstances we will contribute ingredients to accelerate learning. Method development is a constant focus for our chemistry team as they ensure that all of our ingredients are fully characterized, validated internally and externally, and as close to 100% purity as humanly possible. To help our clients and research partners up the learning curve, we make videos that outline the recommended ingredient preparation with handling and heating instructions for best results.

For all stakeholders: Get involved, and let us know if you would like more information on CFCR, EIHA or the Last Prisoner Project. Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

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