In this episode, we speak to Henri Sant-Cassia, a Cannabis entrepreneur who is CEO and Co-founder of CBD Virtue, a UK based CBD business, and Chairman of the Cannabinoid Trust.
Together, we speak about growth prospects and trends in Europe and further afield in Asia.
Podcast Episode Summary
Henri started within the industry growing and producing marijuana in California, and then moved on to work within marketing for a dutch based CBD company so has experienced the industry from both sides. Henri packed up business after the California legalisation and returned to the UK to set up CBD Virtue.
CBD Virtue are manufacturers of CBD and hemp products and have their own bottling plant and processing facilities and are also providers of white labelled products including edibles, tinctures, cosmetics and e-liquids.
Retailers in the USA have a much larger variety of CBD products than the UK including cannabinoid blends, terpene blends, blends which may include vitamins, ginseng and turmeric. Henri predicts that in the future the UK market will see more of these types of products.
Compared to the first CBD show in the UK which was at Birmingham’s NEC last October, the European CBD Expo really shone through. Although it was not long ago, the market is changing so rapidly that many of the brands who were formerly exhibiting at the NEC are now defunct. The quality of the brands at the European CBD Expo in London was incredibly high, had more sophisticated offerings and better packaging.
Henri states that although around 11% of the British public use cannabis or a cannabis derived product, the show was very business focused - not many consumers were present.
This may be due to the widespread advertising ban of CBD and cannabis derived products. Although CBD can still be advertised through print and television campaigns, the market size to be able to justify the advertising spend just isn’t there yet and it is incredibly expensive to be able to reach consumers.
Large investors are reluctant to invest capital into new cannabis businesses or back single companies or firms as it is an inherently risky strategy, the markets are new, and not entirely risk free.
The CBD and cannabis market in Asia has the potential and power to become incredibly large, considering the amount of people who inhabit it and the spending power it has. It is an incredibly attractive bilateral market and has a great advantage over other continents or areas in terms of physical space to be able to cultivate the cannabis plant. Western products are exciting to the Asian markets and hold a lot of brand value. Although the market has a huge potential for growth, conservative governments have put pressure on civilians to cut down drug use and it is not widely tolerated.
CBD Virtue: https://www.cbdvirtue.co.uk/