US Tobacco began manufacturing hemp cigarettes for the Californian market in the US and is now “migrating” to the global business of CBD products, said Carlos Varela, vice president of commercial at US Tobacco, based in Tijuana, Mexico.
The tobacco giant was at ANTAD Alimentaria presenting Hemp Box, a vending machine specifically for CBD derivatives.
“Through this vending machine we are going to sell products with CBD, like chocolates, creams, oils, balsams […], energy bars. Any product that can fit inside this box.”
Varela said the company would launch the franchise in California in the US before rolling out to Mexico, where CBD products are authorized.
The vending machine format would work well for CBD products because it could ‘normalize’ them, he added.
“In Mexico, there is still a lot of questioning about whether CBD is legal or not. We know it’s legal but people still have some trouble with the difference between hemp and marijuana, and the assumption is that hemp is the same thing but it doesn’t contain any THC.
“That’s why we are betting on this machine. You could put it in a pharmacy, for example. The pharmacy would not sell things if they think it [contained] marijuana.”
“CBD is a success all around the world, and Mexico is going to follow the success in other countries,” added Varela.
“In Mexico, a lot of people are buying CBD oil for different diseases but they are buying [online] from the US or from Europe. The idea is to bring the product to the Mexican market and to have it just around the corner, instead of having to wait two months [for a product to be delivered].”