Companies Were Big on CBD. Not Anymore.

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“My account on Meta is forever banned from making any advertising after I posted once under our company’s page about our CBD products and it was flagged,” said Clarice Coppolino, head of branding and product development for Vital Leaf, which makes CBD chocolate, skin care and tinctures.

The Covid-19 pandemic also took a toll on the industry. While sales in the early weeks and months of the pandemic soared as nervous consumers sought relief through CBD-infused products, the interest among large companies and investors fell off.

“Covid clearly shifted consumer packaged goods companies away from the CBD space and what was possible there to focusing on simply meeting food demand,” said Carmen Brace, a consultant who worked with companies that sell consumer packaged goods.

Amid heavy industry lobbying, some states began legalizing hemp in various products. In 2021, for instance, California passed legislation that allowed hemp-derived CBD in any food, beverage and dietary supplement sold in the state. Other states legalized CBD with restrictions on the types of products it could be used in, the amounts and where the hemp had to be grown.

Mr. Eppers started Vybes after trying CBD oil to relieve the stress and anxiety he felt while working in the tech industry. The product drew a following in its first two years, but around 2020 California regulators began to pull the drinks off shelves. So Mr. Eppers banded with other CBD manufacturers to push laws allowing the product in the state.

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