The new line of encapsulated CBD supplements, branded as Nulief, went on sale at the Blum Dispensary in Oakland, CA. Even though dispensaries are not a normal path to market for a dietary supplement, this limited beginning function like any other test market launch. Do people like it, and do they like it enough to pay what you are planning to charge for it? While the final pricing of the line is yet to be determined, chief market officer Jim Kras had this to say:
“It’s going to be something less than 50 bucks. We wanted to have a convenient form, a 10-capsule blister pack, and we wanted to do it in a way that is affordable and they don’t have a $100 and up out of pocket cost,” Kras told NutraIngredients-USA. A future goal for the product line is to rationalize production so that costs can be brought down. Up to now, the raw material is being brought in from the Netherlands, and it comes at a premium, Kras said.
Dispensary brigde over troubled waters
Launching in dispensaries in those states that have approved medical marijuana is a way to carefully navigate the still-uncharted regulatory waters for this ingredient. There is of course issue of the provenance of cannabidiol (CBD) and whether the federal Drug Enforcement Administration might consider the ingredient, even if it is a non narcotic fraction of Cannabis sativa (industrial or otherwise), to be a scheduled substance.
Then there is the issue of claims. If CBD is a legal dietary supplement ingredient, what can you say about it? It has been primarily studied for pain relief and anti-seizure indications, neither of which seem to be easy realms to conquer with DSHEA-compliant structure/function type claims. In its press release, Inergetics uses this language to carefully tiptoe around the health effects of CBD: “CBD has emerged as a key element to help with proper functioning of the human endocannabinoid system (ECS) that assists the body to maintain stable internal conditions necessary to help protect it.”
The endocannabinoid system in the brain plays a role in memory and mood and helps govern the body’s response to stimuli such as pain. Delicate tiptoeing indeed.
“You have to be very careful and smart how you work on this stuff because we are publicly traded. We are trying to be as smart as possible,” Kras said.
“We are taking a cautious approach so that when we are ready to go to mass market we are fully prepared. We continue to work with our scientific advisory board to develop new products within the CBD line,” he said.