Consumer Giant Unilever breaks into the Multi-Billion Dollar Hemp and CBD Space with their new line of Deodorants

Unilever is a consumer giant with a wide range of products. They have practically explored every space and it’s only natural they enter the hemp space as well. Their subsidiary Schmidt’s Naturals is rolling out a line of hemp oil deodorants which will be in the aisles of all retailers including Target by this fall. Michael Cammarata, Schmidt’s Naturals CEO and co-founder says a CBD-infused deodorant line will follow shortly after.

While many bigwigs are jumping the CBD bandwagon, Unilever is the latest entrant into this space. It is one of the biggest consumer companies looking to tap the potential of the CBD wave. According to Wall Street analysts, the CBD market is expected to explode from around $1 billion today to $16 billion by 2025. Unilever is set to make CBD all trendy too with a line of deodorants under its subsidiary Schmidt’s Naturals brand.

The deodorants containing hemp, or cannabis sativa oil, are expected to hit stores in September. The CBD-infused deodorants will follow shortly after, in both brick-and-mortar stores and online, Michael Cammarata, Schmidt’s Naturals co-founder and CEO told Business Insider in an interview.

Cammarata said they’re still ironing out exactly what the CBD products will look like, and declined to give a specific date for when they’ll be available in stores. The brand is in discussions with Target, though no agreement has been signed yet, a spokesperson for Target said.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant that’s linked to a range of health benefits. The ingredient has shown up in products from face masks and lotions to cupcakes and infused lattes, though the rules guiding the brand-new industry are far from clear. Since Congress passed last year’s farm bill, which legalized hemp, many in the industry thought it would be legal to infuse products with hemp-derived CBD. That’s led to a veritable gold rush among start-ups and the biggest consumer companies — from Whole Foods to Coca Cola — looking to ride the upside of the CBD wave. Of course, a lot of regulatory challenges remain. IN the US, the health departments in some states like New York have enforced upon establishments and restaurants to pull food and drinks with CBD off their shelves This is due to the lack of clarity around the compound especially in food and drinks which aren’t regulated. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set up a working group to figure out CBD regulation, and they’ll be holding a public hearing in May.

Having the legal backing of a corporation like Unilever was crucial in figuring out how to market CBD products according to Cammarata.

He says, “You have to really be on your game here. And it’s great having the resources of Unilever’s legal team to come up with a plan that works at both the state and the federal level.”

Part of the challenge also lies in figuring out how to build a quality supply chain which should be both legal and scalable. Many surveys in recent times indicate that among popular California CBD products, only very few actually contained as much CBD as the label indicated. Cammarata says they intend to get only the highest quality CBD and their biggest challenge lies in adapting the CBD supply chain to ensure that no federal or state laws are broken.

They also face other challenges like routing delivery trucks through certain states more permissible policies on CBD. It’s also a challenge for them to find a legal supply of CBD that doesn’t violate any laws. So they are trying their best to work their way around and ensure that their line of CBD deodorants are the best at the finest quality and completely legal.

Despite the challenges with producing and marketing CBD products, many companies jumping the CBD fray are in for a windfall according to analysts. They expect the CBD market in the US to explode from around $1 billion today to over $16 billion by 2025.

“Once we start making these moves, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a series of other traditional Unilever brands start doing those as well,” said Cammarata.

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