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Amazon’s UK Launch Expected Within Weeks After Successful CBD Pilot Project

AMAZON’S CBD pilot is proving a success and set to debut in the UK later this year or early 2021.

Several industry sources approached by BusinessCann say that as ‘Amazon’s people’ learn more about CBD there is ‘growing awareness of its significant potential’.

Further details on Amazon’s pilot – reported first by BusinessCann – have also emerged confirming the view that the UK’s lead in establishing a clear regulatory pathway has provided the compliance certainty, multi-national retailers such as, Amazon crave.

Stuart McKenzie, CEO of Reakiro.

Sources in discussions with Amazon on its UK move say it’s adamant that all of the companies participating in the trial adhere to the UK’s Novel Food pathway.

BusinessCann understands they must demonstrate to Amazon that Novel Food applications have been submitted to the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) – which is the competent authority until the UK’s Brexit at the end of the year.

CBD Businesses ‘Must Be Compliant’

As the queue of companies knocking on Amazon’s door snakes round the block, the US online giant’s message seems clear – ‘you must be complaint’.

BusinessCann understands Amazon now has an internal checklist which covers key compliance issues such as the production process, details on the management and ownership of a CBD ingredient manufacturer, which may even surpass those required by UK regulators the Food Standards Agency.

Amazon is also said to be concerned over the adherence to a minimum age limit, although most suppliers already advise on use for those above 18.

Reakiro – Waiting For The Starting Gun

Stuart McKenzie, CEO of Reakiro, one of Europe’s largest hemp and CBD businesses, understands the trial has been a ‘success’ and that Amazon will open it to the market-place by the end of the year, or early 2021.

He said: “Once the door is open we understand it may take a couple of few months for product owners to registrar themselves online as long as they can satisfy the Amazon terms and conditions for listing as a CBD vendor.

“At this stage we understand this will be a UK-only market for Amazon. The Amazon people are learning more about CBD and there is a feeling amongst them that it could be really big.

“With Amazon on board, it will surely allow consumers much easier access to CBD and ultimately help millions of people live a healthier more happier life – I wish Amazon all the best, I’m sure they will be very satisfied with their decision to carry and promote CBD products to their customers.”

BuisnessCann has approached some of the 10 companies chosen by Amazon to participate in the pilot for comments on their involvement and is awaiting responses.

With global annual sales of some $300bn Amazon is streets ahead of the competition, whilst in the UK CBD space a number of bespoke, CBD, on-line retail platforms have emerged in recent years.

Amazon Brings ‘Legitimacy To CBD’ – Mellow

One of these is Mellow, and its businesses such as these which would be less enthused by Amazon’s impending UK debut.

However, Mellow’s Co-Founder Neil Tunbridge remains bullish. He told BusinessCann: “Amazon’s Pilot Programme, and most notably its rumoured success, marks a key milestone for the nascent UK cannabidiol industry.

“While many brands in this sector are working hard to educate consumers and combat skepticism around the use of CBD, retail giants such as Amazon will bring legitimacy and help to accelerate changing outlooks for the better, by bringing CBD under its trusted, household name.

“The UK CBD market alone is estimated to grow to £1bn by 2025, so there was no doubt that a big industry player would capitalise on these projections sooner, rather than later. However, whether Amazon’s marketplace model is primed to help the CBD consumer is another question. 

“The platform is perfectly optimised for the decisive consumer who knows exactly what they want, including their renowned one-click checkout feature. But, our own experience suggests that when it comes to purchasing CBD products, consumers like to do their research – spending nearly four minutes on our site investigating the potential benefits and reading around which product will best cater for their needs.

“If or, indeed, when Amazon officially enters the UK CBD market, we’re confident there will still be opportunities for the smaller, original brands.”

BusinessCann approached Amazon for comment on these developments but it declined to add to its previous statement reported here.

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