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In 2020 the Court of Justice of the European Union released its highly anticipated ruling of CBD as a non-narcotic. Finally, following Canada and the US’ lead, the CBD compound could be sold freely throughout the EU. 

Now, just over one year later, the CBD market is projected to grow by 400% in Europe by 2025. It was no small feat, but we’ve made it possible for retail investors to diversify their portfolios with CBD investments, and share in the growth of an industry on the come-up. As such, our campaign development team is on high alert for promising young startups in this space.

Keep reading to find out which young brands in CBD and alternative healthcare we’re watching this month.

Pressure from citizens, greater research on the health benefits and, of course, the potential tax advantages have forced many governments to reconsider their stance on the recreational and medical use of drugs. 

Cannabis is now fully legal in 17 US states as well as several countries around the world including Canada, Uruguay and South Africa. With the success of US-based weed delivery company Eaze, and the rise of the 10-minute grocery delivery startups, I don’t think it will take too long until UK residents are able to get their weed fix through a well funded, brand-centric D2C service.

However, it isn’t just the recreational drug use opportunity that British based entrepreneurs are going after. There is a growing market of young companies looking to unlock the proposed medical benefits of banned substances. One such company is Beckley Psytech, which has raised over £17m in order to develop psychedelic drugs into licence medicines that can be used to treat and cure a host of debilitating diseases such as depression and addiction.  

The company, led by CEO Cosmo Feilding Melleny, has ties to drug policy Think Tank the Beckley Foundation, and is financially backed by Innocent Drinks founder Richard Reed among others. They will no doubt be looking at the success that UK based CBD companies have had in pioneering cannabis products since it was approved for medical use in 2018.

Over the last year in particular, I’ve seen a huge appetite from investors to get into the CBD space. I think that this is due at least in part, to how much the industry has matured. CBD companies are not only innovating in the way of product development, they’re also helping people understand how the compound can benefit their physical and mental health. Until now, retail investors have not been able to invest in CBD. Now, we’ve made that possible.

As of late, I’ve been watching Naturecan, which makes a range of CBD-infused products such as gummy bears and oils. The brand offers a natural, organic alternative to common afflictions such as chronic aches and pains, through its premium, safe and effective hemp derived CBD. Founded by Andy Duckworth, former CEO of MyProtein, this is a startup that’s equipped to scale in an industry that’s right at the start of its boom.

With £2.94m in funding raised since inception in 2019, Naturecan has essentially combined cutting-edge science and rigorous quad-tested lab protocols to create high performance, consistent CBD products that are now available in 24 countries worldwide. They’ve also developed quite the cult following, with fans including athletes Freddie Flintoff, Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher as well as celebrities like Lisa Snowdon. You can check out the full list here.

Investors are increasingly recognising the growing medicinal cannabis market. A step beyond the CBD market, medicinal cannabis includes THC, the compound of the plant that causes psychoactive reactions. While cannabis consumption remains illegal for recreational use in most countries, over 50 countries have legalised it for medicinal use, and the number grows every year. The UK has already done this, with legalisation for recreational use predicted to come soon, and Avida Global (coming soon to Seedrs), is primed to capitalise on this.

Avida, which boasts a highly experienced team chaired by Lord Mancroft, has raised £6.1m to date, and has received widespread press attention for its early-mover position in the UK market. Beyond the medicinal cannabis market, Avida also has operations in the CBD wellbeing market and the cosmoceutical (a portmanteau of “cosmetic” and “pharmaceutical”) markets. 

I’m greatly looking forward to Avida’s raise and will be closely watching its progress in the way of innovation and expansion moving forward.

CBD is trending. Consumers are more comfortable than ever consuming CBD products in their food, beauty products, for its health and wellbeing benefits. From a personal perspective, I’m really interested in how CBD businesses like Our Remedy are using CBD to help consumers with all issues related to female health. 

My startup to watch this month, however, is female-founded TRIP. In my eyes this is not only one of our CBD startups to watch, but one to watch, period. Whether it’s their label as the UK’s only Crown-approved CBD brand, their recent debut in the US, listings and partnerships with the likes of Sainsburys, Deliveroo and Soho House, or their ever-increasing list of media and celebrity endorsements, it feels like hardly a day goes by without TRIP announcing a new achievement. 

TRIP is a premium CBD brand, selling a range of oils, drinks and now merchandise for their brand ambassadors. They were one of the first brands to step away from the stereotype of what a ‘CBD’ brand was expected to look like. Founded by Olivia Ferdi and Daniel Khoury (who are also husband and wife) in 2019, TRIP just announced a $5m investment round to fuel their US launch, backed by strategic investors including Depop CEO Maria Raga. What I love about this deal is the combination of a female entrepreneur and a female investor, coming together to define an industry.

The CBD (cannabidiol) market in Europe is growing at a rapid rate, due to a progressive legislative approach in many European countries. As a result, a number of innovative startups have emerged over the last few years. According to Arcview Market Research and BDS, global consumer spending on CBD products will reach €26B by next year. Not only do entrepreneurs see immense potential in the sector, investors are also looking to back what may very well be the next big thing. In 2019, as much as €105M was invested European CBD startups, according to CB Insights data. 

One of the rising stars in the area is Nordic Oil, European leader in high-quality CBD products. Founded in 2018 in Denmark by two brothers Dannie and Christian, the startup is already serving more than 300,000 customers across 3 continents. NordicOil has its headquarters in Munich, Germany as well as offices in the US and the Netherlands with 100+ employees. Distinguishing factor of the company is not only its rapid international growth, but also passion for CBD as well as a “customer first” approach. We’re looking forward to Nordic Oil coming to the platform, and for the chance to allow Seedrs investors to share in their journey.