Does the Cannabis Space Have Room for Household Name Brands?
Irwin Naturals | irwinnaturals.com

Does the Cannabis Space Have Room for Household Name Brands?

Longtime vitamin and supplement titan Irwin Naturals prepares to enter the U.S. and Canadian adult-use cannabis markets.

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November 19, 2021

And just like that, a household Goliath is ready to muscle its way into the adult-use cannabis space.

Irwin Naturals Inc., a Los Angeles-based herbal supplement formulator that has operated a profitable brand since 1994, announced last month that the company intends to enter the U.S. and Canada adult-use markets through the wholly owned subsidiary name Irwin Naturals Cannabis.

Irwin Naturals’ growing portfolio of herbal products are available in more than 100,000 retail doors across North American, where nearly 100 million people know of the brand, according to a formal company survey with a sample size of 500 randomly selected adults.

“Consumers have trusted our high-quality nutraceutical products for over 27 years. We plan to move quickly in order to become the first national household brand to appear on the label of products containing THC,” Irwin Naturals Chairman and CEO Klee Irwin said in a press release.

In 2018, Irwin Naturals first leveraged its household name brand to expand into the cannabis space by launching hemp-based CBD products into the mass market. The publicly traded company currently offers more than 100 CBD products, ranging from soft gels to balms and oils, with varying formulas aimed to address mood and brain function, better sleep, sports performance and sexual health.

Irwin Naturals plans to enter the North American cannabis industry by licensing its brand name to third parties that manufacture products containing THC, according to the release. The company is planning the overall launch of Irwin Naturals Cannabis to the continental cannabis market in late 2021 or early 2022.

“So, we will strive for the Irwin Naturals Cannabis brand to be like a familiar face for the wide range of new-to-cannabis shoppers across North America,” Irwin said. “Along with the brand, we will apply the company’s rigorous scientific practices and quality control standards to the new partners that we expect to be working with across the industry, so that even the most sophisticated cannabis users will appreciate the purity and potency that results.”

On that mission to become one of the first household name brands to offer THC-based products, Irwin Naturals also plans to offer ketamine-assisted psychedelic treatments and services under the subsidiary Irwin Naturals Emergence, Forbes recently reported.

“The mental health crisis is not growing linearly like other health problems,” Irwin told Forbes. “It is on a dangerous exponential path. Pharmaceuticals and talk therapy have helped, but not enough to stop the runaway escalation,”

The drug approval path will take many years to cover all the mental health problems psychedelics can help with, he said.