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Blake Patterson, the managing member of The Bellator Group, shares how you can get CBD right for your health club members.

CBD burst onto the scene a few years ago and has gone through a series of evolutions as a category. In the beginning brands looking for the “Green Lottery Ticket” made it difficult for retailers and customers to distinguish the primetime players from the bathtub bakers.

Club members and athletes care more about what they put on and in their body than any other consumer segment. It is imperative that they are presented with the best and hyper-targeted CBD products, along with the supporting education and information they demand.  

The CBD industry certainly has its challenges: state to state regulations, customer education, product validation, retail assortment and distribution, vast price differentials, and a slew of misplaced claims by products and brands, not to mention the ambiguity from the FDA.

The category has failed to meet its potential in recent years due to several factors. Retailers got so excited about having the category that they missed key steps to ensure its success. Most category managers are so busy with their product portfolio, they simply don’t have the bandwidth to do their due diligence.  They took what they could get from their conservative legal department, took the brands that looked appropriate, didn’t display them properly or allow for any marketing or education whatsoever. That is a recipe for disaster.

However, there are several brands and industry partners who are building trust and integrity in a very murky category. Brands at the forefront are following strict guidelines put in place by the cannabis industry, as well as using several state policies to self-regulate. For example the highest-quality products  have QR codes that link to batch testing of the product that includes ingredients and levels of everything from THC and CBD to heavy metals and impurities.

The newest products are perfect for the club market. One of the more exciting evolutions of the category is how CBD can be integrated into a variety of products. For years it was 250mg salve and 500mg tincture. Now, the product mix is dialed in with protein bars, performance and recovery beverages, beverage enhancers, high-potency topicals and more.  

The best part? The anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties of CBD are real. Customer studies show that people take CBD primarily for pain, sleep, and anxiety – and it works. We are just beginning to see the research and corresponding results of how cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body. CBD is just the tip of the spear.

Club members are loyal. Their routine is akin to a religious experience. They place an enormous amount of trust in their chosen club. You have an enormous opportunity to enhance that trust with CBD. It is incumbent upon you to get it right.

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Blake Patterson

Blake Patterson is the managing member of The Bellator Group, an exclusive CBD broker and distributor with unparalleled experience in the category. He and the principals of The Bellator Group have built some of the best customized assortments with premium brands and corresponding shopper-marketing for retailers throughout the U.S.

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