High Hopes For CBD Franchising
Entrepreneur|January - February 2021
Plagued by misinformation and poor regulation, the CBD industry is banking on brick-and-mortar franchise shops to build confidence with cannabis-curious customers.
By Jonathan Small

Lauren Lerch witnessed the unthinkable: She was at a Las Vegas music festival in 2017 when a gunman opened fire and killed 58 people. Lerch escaped physically unharmed, but the experience gave her PTSD. “I’d hear a car backfire and I’d hit the ground,” says the 37-year-old California mother of three. She struggled with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, but medications only made her gain weight and feel disoriented.

That’s when a friend mailed Lerch a CBD tincture. “After three weeks of taking the product, I woke up one day and I was like, God, I almost feel normal right now,” Lerch recalls.

As the symptoms of her anxiety began to fade, Lerch grew increasingly interested in CBD. The hemp-derived compound—CBD is shorthand for cannabidiol—is being used to treat sleeplessness, pain, depression, and a host of other common ailments (though the actual science on CBD’s effectiveness is still in early stages). Lerch wanted to help other people like her and found an opportunity to do so: She became a franchisee of one of the leading CBD retail franchises, Your CBD Store. “I didn’t get into it originally for the business opportunity,” she says. “It can be overwhelming walking into a shop and having so many options. I loved the fact that I could provide a personalized experience and connect with customers.”

Whether it’s to help others or to cash in on CBD’s surging popularity, many people are following Lerch’s path. Franchising in the space is growing rapidly, as the CBD industry as a whole is estimated to reach $20 billion in sales by 2024. The two largest stores, CBD American Shaman and Your CBD Store, both launched in 2018 and have grown to 319 and 550-plus units, respectively. (Your CBD Store started with a licensed distribution model but is converting its system to franchising.) Meanwhile, at least six new franchises launched in the past year.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ENTREPRENEURView All

Stop Working, Start Automating

Why waste your energy on tedious tasks when an app can do them instead?

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

START YOUR YOUTH MOVEMENT

Young franchisees keep brands relevant with millennial and Gen Z customers, and with decades of career growth ahead of them, they can help bring long-term growth and continuity to franchise companies. So why don’t we spend more time courting them?

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

A Bank That Keeps Things Simple

It’s not nuts – The 18-year-old coin bank on Casilimas’ desk.

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

High Hopes For CBD Franchising

Plagued by misinformation and poor regulation, the CBD industry is banking on brick-and-mortar franchise shops to build confidence with cannabis-curious customers.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

This Year Will Be Great. Really

After months of forced closures and record-high unemployment, the U.S. is ready for an economic recovery—and the franchise industry is uniquely positioned to lead the charge.

4 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

How to Take Down Goliath

The biggest companies can still be taken down by the smallest startups. Here are four strategies disruptors use to fight their way up.

5 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

Your Secret Weapon: Great Expectations

The year 2021 may feel uncertain, but set your expectations high anyway. Doing so will become your guiding force.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
January - February 2021

The Beauty of Being Rejected

I thought my idea to shake up the book industry was brilliant. Investors didn’t. That ended up being my greatest asset.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020

Can There Be Two Tinders for Clothes?

She was a first-time founder with a fresh idea. Then a $30 million competitor arrived.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020

Getting More from Less

Everyone has been forced to cut back in some way—but limitations can lead us to even greater growth. We asked six entrepreneurs: What unexpected benefits have you gotten from change?

2 mins read
Entrepreneur
December 2020