Cosme Tokyo 2020

Breaking down barriers: Avicanna on ‘huge’ potential to grow CBD skin care brand in Asia

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Biopharmaceutical company Avicanna is seeking a partnership to help it expand in Japan. ©Pura Earth
Biopharmaceutical company Avicanna is seeking a partnership to help it expand in Japan. ©Pura Earth

Related tags: CBD, Canada

Biopharmaceutical company Avicanna is seeking a partnership to help it expand the footprint of its CBD skin care brand, Pura Earth into Asia, starting with Japan.

Pura Earth is a derma cosmetic line that utilises cannabinoid (CBD) oil sourced from organically cultivated hemp from the Sierra Nevada mountains in Colombia.

The brand was developed over three years in Toronto at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre, JLABS.

The company claims that Pura Earth is the first premium CBD skin care brand that is backed up by human data.

“There's a lot of hype with CBD and there are all kinds of products and brands but for us, it’s very important to present the data and Avicanna is a company that does everything from a very scientific-approach. We really want to gather data to prove that our products say what we say they do,” ​said Ivana Maric, EVP of marketing, Avicanna.

Pura Earth is currently available in Colombia and will soon be available in Canada come April this year.

The company was at the CosmeTokyo trade show this year to find potential distribution or retail partners that can help them break into the Asian skin care market.

“We want to explore the Japanese market and make our way over to this part of the world. There's a huge market potential for an ingredient that has not really been studied before. Japan is really a really exciting market; they have such a prominent history and leadership around cosmetics and beauty. It will be very interesting to see how the opinion here develops around CBD,” ​said Maric.

Spreading the word

One of the biggest challenges the company faces with expansion is the lack of understanding of CBD products.

“There’s a lot of false information, information that relates to smoking that doesn’t apply here. We have to break down those barriers and we believe education and data is the only way to do it,” ​said Maric.

She highlighted that education plays a significant role when entering new markets, including Japan.

“It’s very important to educate the consumer from a very basic level to help them understand what CBD is, what it does and why it's beneficial.”

Despite the knowledge gap, Maric expressed optimism at the feedback the brand has gotten from visitors at the exhibition.

“Reaction has been very, very positive so far. People are still not too familiar with CBD. It’s interesting that when you explain how our company is approaching CBD from a more sophisticated perspective with the science and the data, that really helps when it comes to breaking down the stigma. It's great to see the looks on people's faces when you break it down and explain things”

Moving forward, Maric said the company would be interested in expanding into more Asian countries, but it would all depend on the regulations.

Avicanna recently completed clinical studies to prove the efficacy of its products for dermatological conditions such as eczema and acne.

The findings have yet to be published, but Maric revealed that the results were very promising.

“There's a lot of research that has been done and we're now starting to understand the mechanism of action a bit better. What we do is we take everything from a more scientific approach, from formulation development to studies. We really want to gather data to prove that our products say what we say they do.”

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