Outdoor activities cause sore muscles. CBD is said to relieve pain. Even though the outdoor industry has dabbled in the cannabidiol market for a few years, it wasn’t until this year that a dedicated outdoor brand contributed its own formulations to the billion-dollar category.
In January, Kelty launched a collection of pain-relief salves, after-sun lotions, and antibacterial and itch-relief sprays for outdoorists. The longtime Colorado-based maker of tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear sees the new CBD offerings as a natural brand progression.
“At Kelty, we’re all about spontaneous adventures, getting outside, goofing around, and having fun. But playing outside often comes with its own set of challenges in the form of aches and pains,” says Russell Rowell, Kelty senior vice president and general manager. “Thanks to our new CBD products, we now offer another tool to help you go farther, higher, and faster—and to bounce back more quickly when you do.”
To create research-based formulas, Kelty consulted Arizona-based pharmaceutical producer e2e Pharma to formulate the new line of THC-free products. The collection is available at kelty.com/CBD.
Financially, it’s a strategic move. The CBD market is currently valued at approximately $4 billion. Market researchers like Grandview Research and BDS Analytics predict it will surpass $20 billion by 2025. Skeptics have been troubled by the lack of regulation of cannabidiol, but a new bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives in February would allow hemp-derived CBD to be marketed and sold as a dietary supplement. If passed, it could also lead the US Food and Drug Administration to establish a regulatory framework.
CBD made its debut on a large scale to the outdoor industry—a nearly $800 billion business—in 2018, when manufacturers exhibited at Outdoor Retailer, the industry’s largest trade show, and now numerous athletes, from ultrarunners to surfers, are sponsored by CBD brands. Specialty outdoor retailers stock topicals and capsules. And Kelty has set a direct-to-consumer precedent. Which outdoor brands will enter the market next?