Why pandemic fuelled sales of legal cannabis therapies
- Credit: Archant
Cannabidiol products are proving a hit with Norfolk customers in lockdown, retailers have said, with the market as a whole now estimated to turn over £690m in 2021.
Cannabidiol - otherwise known as CBD - is a derivative of the hemp plant.
Users say products from balms to oils help reduce pain and inflammation as well as anxiety - which led to a spike in sales during the pandemic.
David Walker runs two Your CBD stores in Norwich - one in Aylsham Road and another in the city's Castle Quarter - and says prior to the pandemic demand was increasing by about 20pc every month - particularly in the over 60s age group.
He said: "We opened our store in Aylsham Road a few years ago and sales went so well that we were able to open another in Norwich city centre. We were seeing sales increase by between 20pc and 30pc every month - mostly from word of mouth recommendations.
"During the pandemic all of our regular custom went online but we did take the hit - like everyone - of not having people coming into store."
It comes as the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis (CMC) released a report predicting the industry will turn over £690m this year - surpassing predictions made in by the CMC in 2019 which estimated the market would be worth £526 million in 2021.
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Mr Walker said: "I think during the pandemic, and as we come out of it, we'll see CBD products really start to take off again. Partly that's down to the fact that people want to try a different approach to their health - they don't want to sit in a busy doctor's surgery for an ache so instead try CBD oil just to see if it will help."
Mr Walker said that he sees education about the products as a priority for his stores and staff.
He added: "I think consumers are really starting to understand the products. Recent changes to the regulation and licensing of CBD products will also really help businesses like ours which have quality products and expertise, because it cracks down on sellers who are just trying their luck."