Tilray Brands Inc. (Nasdaq: TLRY) (TSX: TLRY) has inked a partnership with U.S.-based CBD giant Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. (TSX: CWEB) (OTCQX: CWBHF) to sell hemp extract products in Canada.
Under the agreement, Charlotte’s Web’s full-spectrum CBD products will be reach dispensary shelves through Tilray’s distribution network. The company said that its products had previously only been available to those that qualified for a special access medical exemption through Health Canada for specific need-states.
“Partnering with Charlotte’s Web, the market leading CBD brand, opens new opportunities for Tilray Brands in Canada as we evolve our distribution channels from the dispensary model to natural wellness retail channels and eventually mass retail opportunities,” Tilray Canada president Blair MacNeil said.
Charlotte’s Web will sell the same core hemp extract products it has in the U.S., with Tilray handling licensing, manufacturing, quality, marketing, and distribution.
“This underscores our strategic expansion into international markets with leading domestic partners by leveraging well-established infrastructure, co-production, and route-to-market capabilities,” Charlotte’s Web CEO Jacques Tortoroli said in a news release.
The company expects Charlotte’s Web CBD products to be widely available in Canadian dispensaries by early next year.
Hemp-derived CBD falls under the same regulatory framework in Canada as cannabis, so Canadians for now can only purchase CBD products legally through a licensed cannabis retailer or through prescription by a doctor.
However, with Health Canada signaling a move toward simplifying CBD’s legal status, the company said that establishing Charlotte’s Web’s supply chain and distribution in the country also prepares for the possible introduction of natural health products regulations and potential ability to sell CBD products through traditional retailers.
Cory Pala, director of investment relations at Charlotte’s Web told Green Market Report in August that the company — which is based in the U.S. — is “particularly excited” about Health Canada’s inquiry to make CBD more accessible.
Charlotte’s Web cannot export its products to Canada under current law, “which is sort of ironic” considering it is federally legal in both countries, he said, so it has mapped out a plan to partner with cultivators in the country instead.
“In the U.S., we have 2,500 different competitors that have similar products,” Pala said. “But in Canada, we have maybe half a dozen, if that. And so it’s really, really compelling to us as a market opportunity. This is big for multiple reasons.”
Charlotte’s Web has been focused on expanding its presence in the U.S. and abroad. Last month, the company also became the “official CBD of Major League Baseball” after the two organizations struck a lucrative sponsorship deal.