Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges of Entrepreneurship

There are a lot of great business opportunities that are worth pursuing in 2020. Smart entrepreneurs understand the importance of following new trends to identify the most promising markets. 

One business that people are looking into is CBD. The market for CBD products could reach $20 billion in the next four years, which means there is tremendous growth. 

However, there are some challenges that CBD entrepreneurs need to understand. They should conduct a SWOT analysis to decide if this is the best industry for them.

The Opportunities and Challenges of Starting a CBD Business

Any entrepreneurs who follows health and wellness trends might be surprised at the rapid growth of CBD oil in the last few years. They recognize that this can be a great business model. This all-natural product that was once lumped in the same category of marijuana is now being considered one of the best natural remedies to countless health and wellness issues. 

It’s become such a mainstream natural medicine and food item that natural markets like Whole Foods have begun carrying CBD products in states where cannabis is sold legally over the counter. Smaller entrepreneurs can consider looking into it. 

Some claim that with the rapid growth of the market and renowned claims that the best CBD oil drops can heal everything from pimples to cancer, it’s the future of natural medicine. But is this a trend that the natural medicine industry will continue to carry on? Is it really a great opportunity for CBD entrepreneurs?

Where We’re Currently At with CBD and What New Businesses Must Prepare for

Right now, CBD is still stuck in between claims that it’s better than some prescription medicines and derisive comments that it’s the same thing as marijuana. Misconceptions surrounding the product are weakening every day, but there’s still a lot of bad feelings out there that the CBD industry is working to correct. This can make things difficult for new players entering the market. 

Along with misguided political and public perceptions about CBD, it’s not fully accepted in the medical community either. Many health care professionals are open minded about CBD, and if they’re not ready to endorse it, they’re at least ready to give it a chance. However, a few are still pushing against CBD as an accepted form of treatment for many medical ailments. 

As a result, the CBD landscape is still muddied with misguided information that’s challenging for the everyday consumer. Thankfully, this hasn’t stopped the growth of the industry. In fact, it may be increasing interest in the product and encouraging more people to give it a try, despite lack of medical and government-research backing. 

According to an article published on, CBD is a recently discovered goldmine that continues to yield gold. It’s growing at a rate of about 40 percent year over year, and 2020 is supposed to be a record year for sales. By 2022, some economists believe it will grow to be a $22 billion industry. 

Government-Funded Research on CBD Begins and Startups can Benefit

CBD entrepreneurs need to make factually based claims, which requires a lot of research. The good news is that the government is funding a lot of this research for them. This means CBD startups don’t have to invest a lot of money doing it themselves. 

So far, the only recognized government contribution to the CBD world is a newly approved drug called Epidiolex. This is used to treat epileptic syndromes, typically in children who suffer from severe syndromes that include up to 300 seizures in a single week. In clinical trials, the CBD-based drug reduced the seizures from 300 times per week to just a few or even none at all.
But other than that, there’s been little research to support the many claims that CBD lovers have made to describe how the hemp-based product improves their health and vitality. Most of the research we have is on rodents with very few clinical trials outside of the U.S. 

Of course, a lack of clinical research has never stopped the medical community before. It thrives on the reported experiences of others in relation to new health trends. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to get clinical studies that support all of those claims. 

CBD might be getting that validation in the very near future. U.S. government entities recently offered $3 million worth of grants to three separate research institutions to look at certain benefits of CBD. Most of the research will involve human immune cells and more tests on rodents, but one of the trials will use human volunteers that will take CBD mixed with chocolate pudding. 

This is an exciting breakthrough in the world of CBD, and it could be exactly what the hemp industry needs to get out of the shadows of marijuana and become recognized as a separate entity with amazing medicinal properties. 

Predicted Challenges for CBD Small Business

Because CBD is growing at such a rapid pace, it’s predicted that CBD will one day go past the small business phase. Even companies that have been selling the product for a decade or more are facing a looming threat of big-name companies taking on the production of CBD. 

Recently, rumors spread that Coca-Cola was producing a CBD-based beverage to be sold online and in cannabis dispensaries. Coca-Cola representatives have squashed that rumor, but the notion has small-time CBD companies shaking in their boots. The little man simply can’t compete against existing industries that start selling CBD products. 

We’re several years or even decades off from this reality, as big brands would never risk their reputation on a product that’s not FDA approved and lacking sufficient government research. However, it is a concern for those in the current natural health market. 

As a result, many original CBD companies are starting to push for shelf space in natural foods and medicine stores around the world. Right now, CBD topical creams are the best bet because they’re typically legal even in states where cannabis is not, given that they are not intended for oral use. 

Conclusion: CBD Will Continue to Grow in Natural Medicine and Open New Doors for Entrepreneurs

The applications of CBD in natural medicine will only continue to grow, providing a bright promise of hope and healing for those suffering from pain, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, acne, sleep disorders, and so much more. It’s become a favorite for those who prefer natural treatments over pharmaceuticals, and that growth is projected to continue by the billions. 

The current state of CBD and growth projections all offer a promising future for CBD. It will be interesting to see where 2020 takes us on this CBD journey in the natural medicine market. 

This is great news for anyone considering starting a business in this sector. They can take advantage of the growing market, especially as many of the barriers to entry are removed and the costs of launching a CBD startup drop.

Ryan Kh

Ryan Kahn, known as a career coach and television personality. Ryan Kahn is founder of The Hired Group, author of Hired!