Robin Roy Krigslund-Hansen works with Formula Swiss, a company that produces medicinal cannabis in Switzerland. The company uses the cannabis plant to produce CBD, which is used to treat a variety of medical conditions and does not contain THC (which is the intoxicating element of cannabis).
Robin, how did you get involved in medical cannabis?
My family and I have been working with nutraceuticals for more than a decade, so the expansion into medical cannabis was very natural for us. Once we started to read about the many research studies about the health benefits of medical cannabis, we decided to give it our full attention and gradually phased out many of our other products – even our bestselling products.
I have 20 years of work experience with marketing combined with a full-time MBA, so for me it was natural to focus on the business development and marketing side of our business.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol and is one of more than 100 cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, but clearly the most important one from a health perspective. CBD is naturally produced in the human body and helps to maintain different types of physiological processes.
What are some of the benefits of CBD?
CBD has many well-documented effects on the endocannabinoid system in humans and animals. Research studies published by US National Library of Medicine show positive effects from using CBD against everything from anxiety and Alzheimer’s to epileptic seizures and cancer. Many people without any serious health issues use CBD to relax or sleep better, especially when feeling stressed or anxious.
What makes Formula Swiss CBD different from other brands?
There are many good brands in the market, but unfortunately there are also many brands based on CBD crystals from China or with a very limited cannabinoid profile and thus very little effect on the consumers. Many consumers are not educated enough to differentiate between the CBD options being offered to them and that combined with a very international and unregulated market can sometimes be a unhealthy combination.
We are a Swiss family-owned business that started years ago in a very regulated and competitive local market, where everyone has always preferred organic CBD products. From Switzerland it became an international business in just a few years and now more than 95% of our revenue comes from outside Switzerland.
We strive to source the best ingredients and work strategically with partners to produce premium products that make an actual difference in the life of our customers. We want to people to feel an immediate effect from our products. That’s what makes them come back again and again.
Is there a lot of demand for premium medical cannabis?
Yes, the demand is exploding and will continue to do so in the next 5-10 years. According to Forbes the US market for CBD will be just $500 million in 2019, but more than $22 billion in 2022. 4000% growth in just three years is very realistic and unlike anything, we have experienced before.
We have seen an exponential increase in demand in not just Europe, but also South America and Southeast Asia, where people demand premium and organic products from Mother Nature over expensive and often unhealthy medicine with side effects.
Why is Formula Swiss launching in Thailand?
We have been interested in the Southeast Asian markets for a long time, but shipping from Switzerland to the end consumers there wasn’t the best option for everyone, so we have been actively looking for strong local partners all over Asia.
When FDA in Thailand decided to legalize medical cannabis end of December 2018, and we met the right strategic partners, we decided to enter Thailand and established a company in Bangkok.
Thailand is very interesting for us, not just because of the population size of 69 million people and a strong economy, but more importantly the country has a strong tradition and belief in natural products and traditional medicine.
Can you get Formula Swiss CBD oil anywhere in the world?
We can ship with UPS Express to anywhere in the World within 3-5 days, but it is up to our customers to check the local legislation and make sure they can legally import for private consumption in their area.
We can no longer keep up with the changing legislation in all countries and always prefer to have local distributors representing our products and us.
What is the next step for Formula Swiss?
Right now, we are very busy with product development and adding many new CBD products to our product portfolio, so we can meet the many different consumer preferences better and improve the customer experience. I think we will see some amazing CBD-infused food products in 2019.
We are focusing on transforming our company from being a European-centred company to a global business in the medical cannabis industry. It requires us to blitz scale the organisation and distribution network even faster than our competitors do.