Building Trust In The CBD Industry: An Opaque But Burgeoning Market

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Welcome to CBD Dispatches: Words Of Advice From Professionals In The Field

By J.J. Watson

It’s hard to think of a more important virtue than trust when it comes to doing business in the recently legalized Industrial Hemp / CBD Industry, which is expected to grow to nearly $24 billion nationwide by 2023. The waters have been murky, as regulations rapidly mature, leaving many of the earliest adopters in financial distress or ripped off.

So, how do end-users and entrepreneurs decide whether to trust a brand or potential business partner?


Request and share product and business-relevant information regarding technical details and priorities. Ask to see their Certificates of Analysis and use an adapted due diligence checklist to check corporate governance.

Competency / Quality

Rely on reputation. Ask for an introduction from a party you trust already. Test their competency/ quality by asking for product samples and a tour of their facilities.


Assess for respect.  Actively seek opportunities to give and receive mutual respect. Offer and reciprocate with gratitude, generous hospitality and small gifts.

Similar Values

Assess for common values. Be open about yourself, your interests and intentions. Learn about the customer’s or potential partner’s business and community, including their values.

Understanding and applying these four principals are good practices in any business but particularly so in a new industry like CBD, which is new to many but filled with so much opportunity.

This article was re-adapted from Harvard Business Review.

John Watson, owner of CLEAN CANNA LLC,  is a New York-based serial inventor, entrepreneur and investor.