Retail trends and innovation can come from unlikely places, and that seems to be the case now when it comes to pets and CBD, two hot areas of commerce that are intersecting.
According to a Bloomberg report, the use of CBD — which is derived from hemp but which does not get users intoxicated — is finding it ways into use for pets. Although the substance has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “that hasn’t stopped pet owners from embracing it as an all-natural way to alleviate a wide range of creature ailments, including pain, arthritis, and anxiety, without getting them high,” the report said.
The stakes are potentially lucrative, even though the regulatory situation involving CBD is unclear. According to a Brightfield Group study cited by the Bloomberg report, “the CBD market could be worth almost $24 billion in the U.S. alone by 2023,” with the pet market accounting for about 7 percent of sales.
The report tells a story about consumer who used CBD to treat her pet for “pain from arthritis in her neck and spine, [and] could barely walk and wouldn’t eat.” The owner said the compound did indeed ease the dog’s pain.
No matter the state of regulatory or scientific certainty about CBD, various players in payments and retail are making moves to secure their roles in this growing market. Square, the digital payments company, for instance, is getting into the CBD market, launching a payment processing service for the industry.
Square is stepping in to help businesses in the sector that still struggle to access basic financial services. The industry still has trouble processing payments and maintaining bank accounts and Square appears to want to help.
CBD and marijuana supporters hailed the move by Square, with Morgan Fox, a spokeswoman for the National Cannabis Industry Association, welcoming the service. “Forward-thinking companies are stepping in to fill the gap created by outdated federal banking policies, and helping address the problems caused by a lack of financial services in the cannabis industry,” Fox said in the report. “Lawmakers should take heed and open this space to all financial institutions.”
Not only that, but pet retail is gaining steam. Granted, the sale of products and services geared toward pets has long been a relatively healthy spot of retail, but new innovations and moves are happening with greater frequency.