Samples and deep retailer knowledge can help sell cannabidiol (CBD)
Chelsea Gennings, vice president of sales for Pet Releaf in Littleton,
Colo., said that one of the best ways to improve sales in the CBD category
is to really get to know the products, which might mean slimming down a
store’s product selection so that retailers can promote items they are truly
familiar with and understand.
“The biggest correlation we see across our top retailers is that they
carry a very limited number of CBD brands,” Gennings said. “Although
CBD products are becoming increasingly popular in the pet industry, most
pet parents’ general knowledge of CBD is very minimal. Carrying one to
two brands that a retailer has complete confidence in and that they’ve
taken the time to truly educate themselves on makes the selling process
much easier. In order to properly promote CBD products in-store, a retailer
has to thoroughly understand the benefits and brand differences, which
Sometimes, it might take a sample to help win over those hard-to-sell
“My biggest recommendation is for retailers to let customers try it
themselves,” said Angela Ardolino, founder of CBD Dog Health in Lutz, Fla.
CBD-based treats can also serve as a segue into ultimately selling the
oils, said Jessica Swartout, store manager at Urban Tails Pet Supply in
“Oils are our best-seller, but some of our more skeptical customers
might buy the treats because they’re unsure about trying the oil first,”
Swartout said. “Treats are a great introductory product that we’ve found
often leads to CBD oil purchases down the road.”
OFFER AMPLE GUIDANCE
Considering that cannabidiol (CBD) products for dogs and cats are still
relatively new, many customers might not even be familiar with them, or they
could have misconceptions about them. Therefore, education is paramount.
“If retailers want to promote the category, their efforts need to focus on
education,” said Steve Saxton, founder and CEO of Green Gorilla, which has
U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles. “There is a wealth of information about
how to use CBD and its effectiveness when used as a remedy for certain
conditions. Retailers need to cut through all the hype and clutter and provide
customers with the facts. Providing a fact sheet at the point of sale, for
Growing CBD product sales requires engagement between customers and
employees, said Heidi Hill, founder of Holistic Hound, a manufacturer of CBD-
based pet products that also operates a pet supply store in Berkeley, Calif.
“Education is essential, as there is a great deal of misinformation and
misunderstanding regarding the use of CBD products for animals,” Hill said.
“At the same time, there is a glut of options on the market, and customers
often need help differentiating between these selections and learning how to
As more and more retailers add these products to their stores’ shelves—
and more customers begin to show interest—the need for education
becomes an ongoing endeavor. Dan Owens, co-owner of Four Dogs Pet
Supplies in Charlotte, N.C., has made a concerted effort to stay abreast of the
latest information about CBD and to really listen to feedback from customers.
He said their input is providing him with anecdotal information to share with
“It’s still pretty new to us,” Owens said. “We’re using it on our own elderly
dogs so that we can offer our personal experience, but we’re also asking our
customers to share their feedback about how it’s working for them. We’re
looking at it from an ongoing education standpoint and continuing to try to
learn more about it.”
As interest in CBD grows, retailers should expect that customer
questions will be aplenty, which could also present the opportunity for future
educational occasions such as workshops or other events, said Chelsea
Gennings, vice president of sales for Pet Releaf in Littleton, Colo.
“To take customer education to the next level, offering CBD-specific
demonstrations or in-store events is a great way for retailers to dedicate
time to educate their customers in a high-impact and long-lasting way about
CBD,” she said.
How do you promote cannabidiol
(CBD) products and educate
consumers about them?
“Like a lot of retailers, we display our CBD oils in a glass
case on the register. The bottles are small and breakable,
so this obviously helps us keep track of the product. But
we’ve also found it really draws attention to it. We use
chalk markers to write notes on the glass and create
even more interest.”—JESSICA SWARTOUT, storeman-
ager of Urban Tails Pet Supply in Minneapolis
“I’m a skeptical person myself and I don’t usually believe something really
works until I have proof, so using these products on my own pets—and asking
for a lot of feedback from customers—has been essential for me. A lot of
customers have told us that we’re seeing some improvement in their dog’s
hip dysplasia, and we’ve also heard some positive feedback on anxiety. For us,
that anecdotal evidence is important, and we are continuing to have ongoing
conversations with the customer.”—DANOWENS, co-ownerof Four Dogs Pet
Supplies in Charlotte, N.C.
“We have taken a multifaceted approach to educating about CBD, both for our employees and
our customers. We held training for our employees to learn about CBD so that they could pass the
information on to our customers. We also have posters, fliers, and sent an email and Facebook
post out about it. Because of those posts, we had so many people come in wanting to try it and
sold out of our first three orders.”—SHERRYREDWINE, co-ownerof Odyssey Petsin Dallas
INTRODUCTIONS THAT OFFER RELIEF
From oils to treats, manufacturers are offering a variety of new cannabidiol (CBD) products.
Pet Releaf in Littleton, Colo., recently released Liposomes Hemp Oils, its first line of products under its new
division, Pet Releaf Professional. According to the company, the brand-new oil technology gives pet owners
the convenience of administering the CBD oil directly on their pet’s food without losing any efficacy. The
products are available in two potencies: Liposomes Hemp Oil 330, which contains 100 milligrams of active
CBD for small dogs and cats, and Liposomes Hemp Oil 1000, which contains 300 milligrams of active CBD for
medium- to large-breed dogs.
At press time, Angela Ardolino, founder of CBD Dog Health in Lutz, Fla., said that the company will soon release
some products specifically formulated for cats.
“Our cat products will be the companions to CBD Dog’s Calm, Ease and Heal, and will include all-natural
essential oils to alleviate anxiety, stress, pain and serious illness,” she said.
Green Gorilla, which has U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, recently launched CBD Lamb Recipe dog treats.
Green Gorilla Hemp & Olive Freeze-Dried Dog Treats come in a 2.1-ounce bag and are 100 percent natural, with no
fillers or additives.
Holistic Hound in Berkeley, Calif., is working on a new product to add to its line of phytocannabinoid-rich hemp
and medicinal mushroom supplements. The product will introduce a new flavor profile and provide an alternative
option for dogs and cats with dental issues or finicky palates, said company officials.
Pet Releaf recently
Hemp Oils, its first line
of products under its
new division, Pet Releaf