The Global Cannabis Report 2022 says Goodleaf is the most recognized CBD brand in South Africa. It says it expects growth in the CBD market to falter as the country goes through economic hardship and CBD products remain a preserve of the rich because of high price points.
Clicks and DisChem have slashed the range of CBD products they stock by almost half over the past 18 months.
This was revealed by the Global Cannabis Report 2022 section on South Africa’s CBD industry, published on 5 Decembr 2022. The report was compiled by Prohibition Partners and the ACA Group.
South Africa’s two major retail pharmacy chains, Clicks and DisChem, both stock a number of CBD brands across most of their +700 retail stores. These include; Rethink, Releaf, Elixinol, africanpure and ADCO CBD.
The report says the two have significantly reduced their CBD ranges over the last 18 months. “At the beginning of 2020, approximately 15 brands were listed across these retailers, now between three to seven brands are listed on average”.
It says Goodleaf is the most recognised CBD brand in South Africa, with their products being available in most recognised retailers across the country.
Some of the other leading CBD brands in South Africa include; Elixinol, Rethink, ADCO CBD, africanpure and Koi CBD. CBD Market Structure By our estimates, there are currently +85 CBD brands being sold in South Africa.
Most sales happen through physical retailers, pharmacy chains and CBD or health-focused online marketplaces such as Takealot (South Africa’s Amazon). The industry is highly competitive and fragmented.
Online marketplaces are a significant avenue for sales in South Africa, with over 50 brands selling products through their own websites and through third party online stores. The report says the most popular online CBD store in South Africa is The CBD Shop. Health and wellness online stores such as Faithful to Nature and Wellness Warehouse are also popular sites for the purchase of CBD products.
The GCR says many independent pharmacies in South Africa also list CBD brands. The brands listed across independent retail stores vary widely, with over 20 different brands being listed across these independent retail pharmacies.
Most major grocers such as Pick n Pay, Spar and Checkers also stock a broad range of CBD products.
Due to the high price point of CBD products, CBD is currently bought by affluent consumers.
Furthermore, due to South Africa’s ailing economy, we expect premium CBD product sales to lag behind comparable international markets.
CBD product variety in South Africa is limited relative to other markets, with tinctures, CBD infused water and capsules making up the majority of CBD products available on the market.
The South African government made international headlines in 2019 when it announced a 12 month exemption for CBD products, effectively descheduling CBD products that had less than 20 milligrams daily dosage and didn’t make any medical claims.
On 22 May 2020, the Department of Health provided new regulations for cannabis and CBD. CBD was reassigned from Schedule 7 of the Medicines Act, to Schedule 4 (from highly regulated, to simply requiring a prescription for use).
However, products with less than 600 milligrams CBD concentration per sales pack, with a maximum of 20 milligrams per daily dosage, were moved to Schedule 0.
These products can only make general low risk health claims. Schedule 0 CBD products also include CBD products that are made from raw cannabis plant material for ingestion with less than 0.0075% CBD and less than 0.001% THC in naturally occurring quantities.
This move by the Ministry of Health resulted in a flurry of international CBD brands expanding into South Africa in order to gain market share and boost sales.
This also resulted in local CBD brands being established in South Africa, including Goodleaf, which opened the first CBD retail store in Africa in 2019.