The Cüre brand, maker of broad spectrum CBD-infused products including sparkling waters, wellness shots, gum, and gummies announced Nov. 14 that it has entered into a joint partnership with Hirokazu Yamura, CEO of AJP Co Ltd., to expand its portfolio of CBD products into retail and e-commerce marketplaces in Japan.
Founded in 2019, Cüre, pronounced “coor,” is a New York-based CBD wellness company led by Roland Nesi, founder of Roar Organic, with the help of health and wellness expert Saf Sadiq.
Earlier this year, Sadiq traveled to Japan himself, and noticed the flux of CBD specialty stores, retail outlets, and the products available—leading to the decision to set up shop overseas. “Immediate growth from month to month is what we’re seeing there,” Sadiq tells Forbes.
He explained that the CBD market specifically is a great fit because of the way cannabis is strictly prohibited there and the slowly dissolving attitudes surrounding pot, making a non-psychoactive product more appealing.
“The [market] has exponentially grown in the last couple of years, and that’s due to our partner over there who’s done all the research in the market for different alternative medicines that are really becoming popular,” Sadiq says. “Those that are really gaining a lot of headway in terms of market.”
CBD’s Potential in Japan
The rapidly expanding Japan CBD market, which is forecast to reach more than ¥80 billion, or $600 million USD in sales by 2025, according to data released by Yano Research Institute.
In October, the Japanese government approved a bill that would amend its nearly 75-year-old Cannabis Control Act, signaling a shift in the way the plant is viewed, and the bill was approved by Japan’s House of Representatives Nov. 14. Japan’s unique market calls for undetectable traces of THC in CBD products, more so than the already low limits on the compound in other countries. Hemp generally contains trace amounts of THC, though far less than enough to create psychoactive effects.
One of the reasons Cüre is partnering with Yamura is his background in the beverage market at Coca-Cola. Yamura served under several roles before being appointed Outside Director of Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Holdings Inc.
“And one of the reasons why I believe that he partnered with us is because of our product and our brand [are trusted] and we have some interesting formulations that are very void of THC,” Sadiq says. “So we use certificates of analysis with our product that show the non-detectable THC component. They spent over eight months looking for the right CBD product.”
Cüre developed a collection of CBD-infused sparkling waters, wellness shots, and gummies designed to help consumers reach optimal levels of energy, relaxation, relief, and sleep. The Company’s diverse selection of functional wellness products is currently available at more than 2,500 retail stores across the U.S.
“The background of the company is very important, because I myself am a pharmacist with a health and wellness background in the pharmaceutical industry for years,” Sadiq says. “When we started in 2019, we were actually the first beverage company to include QR codes on our packaging, independent DNA analysis.”
Functional wellness products with lab analysis and strict standardization is what the country needs. “That’s something that’s very relatable to the Japanese consumer, in terms of top-selling products that are very high demand,” Sadiq says. “[The] energy [drink market] has taken off in the United States. And like I said, they want us to be and this can go further down from CBD, but all the way over to when cannabis becomes whether it’s medically consumed or recreationally, in Asia, not only in Japan.”
The company also plans to expand its portfolio across Asia, in Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. To support its growth, Cüre is currently completing a funding round, led by Marc Lustig. More information is available on the company’s website.
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