Few groups could benefit more from the non-addictive, natural wellness properties of CBD than the LGBT community, where anxiety levels are as much as 2.5x higher than their heterosexual counterparts (Mental Health America). That’s the premise of a new Southern California start-up called Out & About CBD with the launch of its new line of CBD products this month.
Out & About CBD has raised more than $1.5 million from almost two dozen angel investors across the country who were attracted by the hyper-growth in the CBD market, a seasoned management team with a track record of success, and Out & About CBD’s differentiated “do good, do well” business model.
The company was founded by long-time brand marketing executive (P&G, Heinz, WPP) Ralph Fascitelli and Wayne Carkeek, a former retail manager at LA-based Alo Yoga. Both principals have links to the LGBT community. Carkeek grew up in a small town in Montana, and came out shortly after a four-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Out & About CBD is committed to giving a minimum of 5% of all proceeds back to the LGBT community, a percentage it hopes will generate more than a million dollars in donations within three years. The company is a corporate partner of The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth. As part of the company’s launch efforts, Out & About CBD will donate 15% of all sales during the month of April to The Trevor Project. According to long-time LGBT activist and former Board President of the LA Gay and Lesbian Center, Matt Skallerud: “The gay community is not yet fully up to date on the many benefits of CBD and a well-focused, community-conscious, and committed business like Out & About CBD can be very successful.”
The Out & About CBD product line-up will include several traditional CBD products including:
- Both 10mg and 25mg gummies
- An energy and sports recovery drink mix – a convenient alternative to CBD water
- A personal water-based, lubricant formulated for safe sex
- CBD dog chews formulated especially for small dogs, under 25 pounds..
Out & About CBD will sell direct via its own ecommerce site which will be aggressively promoted in LGBT media and via LGBT influencers and on social media. The company also intends to sell to a variety of retailers in leading LGBT neighborhoods as well as wellness outlets across the U.S.
The CBD market is predicted to grow into a $20 billion dollar category by the year 2022 according to a Brightfield Group study, and has enjoyed stamps of approval from both the World Health Organization, which declared hemp-based CBD to be “a safe product with health benefits,” and the U.S. Government, which classified CBD as a legal product in the 2018 Farm Bill. Hemp-based CBD, short for cannabidiol, comes from the same cannabis family as marijuana, though hemp CBD contains less than 0.3% of THC, which is the element in marijuana that gets one high. Out & About CBD’s hemp CBD products contain zero THC and are sourced from U.S. farms employing organic growing practices, and are third-party tested.
CBD is at the center of the booming wellness, self-care industry due to its dual mind and body benefits. CBD can have a positive impact on our physiological functions by interacting with our endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is crucial for balancing a healthy stress response, mood and sleep/wake cycles among many other functions.
The typical CBD user has above average education and higher income levels than the general population, and takes fewer prescription drugs. Growth in the industry has been grassroots driven, with reported efficacy levels over 80% according to CBD user surveys. Studies also indicate almost half of people who use CBD, use it daily.