Most people starting up a new business do so because they have a great idea, passion for the product or service and an undeniable dedication to see it through. Running a business in the CBD industry, however, requires much more than that.
I was recently asked to help with the digital marketing and social media strategy for Supplements for the Soul, a new UK based company, specialising in selling CBD oils, vape liquids and other cannabis-related products. As a Creative and Digital Marketing Manager I jumped on the opportunity and relished the idea of a new challenge. Little did I know how much red tape that challenge would involve…
CBD products are relatively new to the UK and, being a controversial topic (I have been explicitly told there must be NO mention of any medicinal benefits), this brings a mountain of barriers.
Here are a few of the NO’s I have encountered so far:
- NO promotion on Facebook or Instagram (this includes boosted posts and page promotions)
- NO advertising on Google. PPC is not an option here.
- NO CBD product can be sold as a medicine – it must be categorised as a Food Supplement
- NO mentions of medicinal benefits
- NO reviews mentioning medicinal benefits – these must be removed from all digital channels (including your website, social media pages and other review sites)
From my initial research, these rules and regulations originate from an executive agency called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who regulate medicines, medical devices and blood components for transfusion in the UK. An MHRA spokesperson said: “We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) used for medical purposes are a medicine. Medicinal products must have a product licence (marketing authorisation) before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK, unless exempt.” You can read the full statement here…
Succeeding in any industry can be a challenge, but the business of CBD seems to be on a another level!
Have you had any experiences in the CBD industry? Or with CBD products? I’d love to hear your thoughts…