By / June 22, 2021

Beverages, cosmetics, and other products: Mexican cannabis market is opening-up

Non-alcoholic and energizing products such as drinks, ointments, and cosmetics made from one of the 100 components of cannabis are already on the Mexican market. They were put on sale by the Mexican company CBD Life, which expects its sales to quadruple in 2021 compared to the previous year.

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Breakaway Mexican consumer cannabis industry debuts

The Mexican firm, which today sells its cannabis products in establishments such as 7-Eleven, Farmacias del Ahorro, or Chedrahui, began operations in 2019. It has raised investment rounds for $20 million and is the largest on a global scale in the sale of regularized products containing cannabidiol (CBD).

“The company was formed in 2016, after an extensive search in the United States and Canada and Europe, it is focused on selling consumer products. We are differentiated because all our products are made with CBD, which is the therapeutic ingredient of cannabis and not with THC, we have nothing to do with ‘recreational’ issues,” indicates Iker Ruiz de Chávez, CEO of the company.

It has been authorized by the National Federal Commission for the Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris) since 2018, given that the ingredient it uses does not cause alterations within the human body.

CBD as the base for Mexican cannabis products

“CBD is one of the more than 100 chemical components of the cannabis plant, just like THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, which is psychoactive), but what CBD has is not an addictive or psychotropic ingredient, on the contrary, it has been found to have various beneficial properties for health. From being neuroprotective to reducing anxiety, insomnia or pain, and it is used in many products and medicines because it has the pharmaceutical properties of cannabis without the psychoactive part,” explains Janko Ruiz de Chávez, co-founder of the company.

He explains that THC is the most abundant psychotropic in cannabis, and in addition to having psychoactive properties, it has medicinal properties, but “CBD is the medical part and does not carry any type of health risk.”

Thus, CBD Life today has a range of four Mexican cannabis products: cosmetics, including Mariguanol, which is a brand they have licensed, and three drinks, two non-alcoholic and one energizing.

“We started in 2019 and we are currently in more than 18 thousand points of sale, which makes us the largest company in the world in matters of selling products with CBD. We are part of a second-generation family business group formed more than 40 years ago, which is Grupo RCH; we have been distributing medicines and healing materials for 15 years,” adds Iker Ruiz de Chávez.

CBD to conquer a cannabis reluctant population?

After legislators approved the use of consumer and pharmaceutical products with CBD in 2017 and obtaining their licenses in 2018, the firm began its sales a year later. By 2020 it had doubled them and by the close of this year, they expect to quadruple them, in addition to already being in talks with commercial chains such as Oxxo to market their products.

“CBD’s bet is to position brands in the cannabis derivatives space, but for different audiences, Mariguanol is for all households in Mexico; in beverages, California is for the 18 to 24 generation, and the energy drink is for people from 18 to 32 years old”, Janko Ruiz de Chávez points out.

Although they consider that in the Mexican market there is still some resistance to the cannabis-related industry and products, market studies confirm that consumers are increasingly interested in seeing the plant in a product on the market.

“There is everything, but when we designed the products we did market studies and it turned out that many Mexicans want to see the cannabis plant in the products, yes there are different ideologies, but society is already much more open and even wants to see the plant,” says the CEO.

To measure the importance of the cannabis industry, Iker Ruiz de Chavez estimate that it would help provide 75 thousand new jobs, since it is present in three sectors.

“The latter come from hemp, when it does not have a high concentration of THC it is hemp, and more than 50 thousand applications are obtained from industrial uses, from fabrics, biofuels, construction materials. A large number of applications can be made in a more effective way, so it has an implication in all of Mexico, from the field, industry and recreation,” the executive adds.


(Featured image by  Herbadea Berlin via Unsplash)

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