Clicks and Dischem Dive into The CBD Market: Capitalistic and Uneducated?

With the rise of CBD in South Africa, many have jumped on the bandwagon of this "Green Rush". CBD brands have been popping up all over the place, but is it with good intentions or capitalistic greed?

CBD brands

With the recent developments in the South African cannabis industry, we have seen a massive influx of both commercial and private CBD brands start to appear in all wonderful and wacky forms from CBD toothpicks to standard MCT tinctures and even CBD edible gummies.

Although it is great to see CBD assisting in breaking the stigma, it has also led to a mass majority of commercial brand owners seeing this as the next big cash cow which creates some concern. Now Dischem and Clicks, in all honesty, own majority of the local pharmacy and health and wellness industry and are usually the cash crushing catalyse when it comes to being a competitive product in the retail industry. This is thanks to Dischem and Clicks being lucky enough to own and manage the majority of these markets shares, making them the price setting standard for many.  

Although in some cases this is a positive thing, especially as a consumer as it usually results in a price war which means you the consumer get the product for cheaper. It’s quite alarming though as brands like Dischem and Clicks can, and I’m sure will pave the way for more easily accessible CBD. However, after visiting, communicating and questioning several staff members, pharmacists and floor staff I was met with a mass of misinformation and a sales team that didn’t seem to be involved for the right reasons which might be something worth taking into consideration when making your next purchase. 

It may differ from branch to branch but the general approach to there offering still raises some red flags with it being displayed and presented as a standard line item with little to no special care given towards the product. This prevents you, the consumer, from really understanding or getting the most out of what you are buying during this retail experience. Unlike brands Goodleaf & HelloMD, which have built their business around the community and not the commodity – essentially working in reverse if you compare them to entities such as Dischem. 

The crucial mistake these chains have made is to not educate consumers first and most importantly staff, to pass that information on in a very valuable and reliable exchange that is so important when introducing someone to a plant as complex as cannabis. 

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