The challenge, traditionally, has been getting our hands on the stuff. Since the CBD industry is still largely unregulated, most well-known retailers have shied away from stocking it. (Although that is changing thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill; retail giant Neiman Marcus recently added CBD beauty products to its shelves.) Plus, it's hard to know if the product you're getting is legitimate since so many aren't. Launching Thursday, Standard Dose is primed to do for CBD what Carbon38 did for the activewear industry. In other words, it's a 360-degree platform that encompasses a trifecta of digital retail, brick-and-mortar stores, and product development.
Founder Anthony Saniger, who also heads up his own creative agency, conceived of Standard Dose while working on a branding project for a new line of cannabidol-infused tonic waters. "I started digging around and doing an analysis of the space, and I realized everything's very fragmented," he says. "Products are scattered around everywhere, and there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what CBD is." Diving deeper into the research, Saniger learned about CBD's potential benefits for people with Alzheimer's disease, which piqued his personal interest in the matter; his grandmother died a few year ago and relied on morphine to manage her pain. "That’s when I was like, 'Someone needs to talk about this in the right way,'" he says. "Theres this plant with medicinal benefits that we’ve locked people up for, but now the tide is changing and it's really exciting."
Standard Dose is conducting its own third-party testing on each product on the site to help build consumer confidence in a landscape where most brands are simply too new to have established trust.
With the first phase of its launch—a multi-brand e-commerce and content destination that sells items like CBD-infused food and drinks, beauty products, and tinctures, among others—Standard Dose joins a cadre of budding e-commerce startups, like Miss Grass, Svn Space, Fleur Marché, and Poplar, that have created platforms that combine CBD products with educational content. In preparation, Standard Dose's team set upon a rigorous vetting process, testing each of the more than 50 products offered on the site—from Khus + Khus' Sen Face Serum ($80) to Vybes CBD drinks ($32/set of four)—for effectiveness and experience. If it's an edible, does it actually taste good? If it's a beauty product, is the smell tolerable? Does its packaging look good on your desk, or is it covered in cannabis leaves?
Setting itself apart from the pack, Standard Dose also requires all ingredient claims to be backed up with hard data, proving that the product contains the amount of CBD listed on the label. "Every brand we carry, we’re asking for their lab results," he says. For an additional layer of checks and balances, Standard Dose is also conducting its own third-party testing on each product on the site. This is partially to stay in line with the law—it's important to ensure all products have less than 0.3 percent THC, the current allowable limit for CBD products—but also to help build consumer confidence in a landscape where most brands are simply too new to have established trust.
And Standard Dose isn't just selling other brands' CBD products. It's also launched a tincture of its own, filling a gap that Saniger noticed after trying nearly 200 CBD tinctures himself. "In my opinion, it's got the right combination of flavor and effectiveness," he says, noting that the $89 tincture contains 1,000 mg of CBD isolate combined with MCT oil. More products will be coming in the future, but the site will always feature a mix of brands. "We ultimately want the platform to be about the best products—some of them we may make, some we won't," Saniger says.
In a few months, brick-and-mortar retail will be next. A Standard Dose shop in New York City's NoMad neighborhood is set to open in April, with Los Angeles and London locations in the works as well. "The retail spaces will be experiential," says Saniger. "There will be a café, an event space, a place where you can get CBD facials, and a space that will sell the products that we sell on the digital platform. We'll spend a lot of time educating people."
Of course, all of this is costing big bucks. Saniger won't disclose the exact amount, but some serious dollars are courtesy of Lucas Brand Equity, which has a track record of investing in beauty and personal-care brands. And Saniger predicts continued upswing in the hemp-CBD business throughout the coming months. "There’s a lot happening with the bigger companies right now," he says. No surprise there—didn't we tell you this would be the year CBD goes mainstream?
Find out what happened when one beauty editor swapped her entire skin care routine for CBD products. And if you've been wondering whether CBD coffee is actually legit, here's your answer.
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