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CBD firm founded by student wins big money backing from beverage industry

A company founded three years ago by a university student has raked in $1.5m worth of seed funding.

Cirona Labs, which develops CBD formulations, was set up by Hunter Friedland in 2018 while still a business student at Cornell University.

Now he’s CEO of a company which has seen an influx of financial backing from establish drinks companies interested in the CBD beverage market.

The cash will be used to expand the company’s facilities and ‘support a general push to market’, according to a statement from the company.

Friedland said: “As a newly launched company we are proud to see early market traction and reach this milestone so quickly.

“It’s clear that the interest in creating products with cannabinoids and other plant medicine is continuing to increase and as a company focused on science and offering sustainable solutions to our customers, we are confident our high-quality products will speak for themselves in the industry.”

While the CBD market has struggled to take off in the UK there are already a host of products available in the US.

The global cannabis beverages market – including THC-infused drinks – is expected to reach $2.8bn by 2025 according to Grand View Research.

Tim Phillips, founder and managing director of CBD Intel, predicted this week CBD edibles would struggle to gain regulatory approval in the initial years of the new novel foods regime but market analysts are still bullish about their potential for growth.

John Lidestri of LiDestri Food & Drink, one of the firms backing Cirona Labs, said: “LiDestri Food & Drink and Cirona Labs are both driven to innovate the food and beverage industry.

“And we must invest in state-of-the-art technology and cutting-edge science to bring products into the future for the best consumer experience.

“Cirona Labs will be a great partner in our company’s future progress, and we are looking forward to what’s ahead with our long-term partnership.”

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