Business

Golden-based CBD Operation Boulder Botanical Sells for $12 Million

Research shows the global CBD market was worth $12.8 billion in 2021, with the United States accounting for over 60 percent of that.
Research shows the global CBD market was worth $12.8 billion in 2021, with the United States accounting for over 60 percent of that. Elsa Olofsson/CBD Oracle
Boulder Botanical & Biosciences Laboratories, a Colorado CBD research and manufacturing operation, has been sold to Real Brands, a publicly traded company based on the East Coast. The $12 million agreement, announced by Real Brands and Boulder Botanical owner Frankens Investment Fund, includes all Boulder Botanical assets.

Despite the name, Boulder Botanical & Biosciences Laboratories is located in Golden, where it has a 27,000-square-foot facility that manufactures CBD products and conducts product research. Made by Boulder Botanical but labeled and sold under different brand names, the CBD products and established distribution network will fit right into his company's portfolio, says Real Brands CEO Thom Kidrin.

“Boulder Botanical has had an excellent reputation for creating quality sports medicine, health and wellness herbal supplements and cannabinoid formulations, and its white-label manufacturing services exceed industry standards. We expect to build upon that solid foundation," Kidrin says.

Boulder Botanical product lines include Apra Hemp and SmartLeef, which are sold at national retailers like Costco, CVS and Target, as well as online and in the metaverse. According to Real Brands, the company will acquire over 150 CBD-infused formulations for cosmetics, topicals, tablets, drink powders, tinctures, ointments, gels, energy shots, roll-ons and other supplements.

"With this acquisition, we have increased our production capacity by 300 percent and have added a portfolio of 150-plus brands, extensive IP and a skilled R&D team to create hundreds more products to meet the demand of the burgeoning herbal supplement and CBD markets," Kidrin adds.

Founded in 2015 by Denver-based X8 Brands, Boulder Botanical has changed ownership several times. It was bought out of bankruptcy in April this year by Frankens Investment Fund, which also owns stock in Real Brands.

According to David Frankens, his fund will remain a shareholder in Real Brands after the sale, and "key" employees will be retained during the transition.

“We jumped at the opportunity to acquire Boulder when it became available because we knew that under the right leadership, the sky would be the limit. We are maintaining a position as strategic equity shareholders in Real Brands," Frankens says.

After a fast start in 2018, the industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD industries have both fallen off, with substantial decreases in hemp acreage across the country and plummeting wholesale CBD prices. A non-intoxicating compound extracted from hemp, CBD still sits in a federal gray area, and isn't regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

Despite falling prices, however, CBD is still a lucrative business. Research firm Global Market Insights reports that the international CBD market was worth $12.8 billion in 2021, with the United States accounting for over 60 percent of that.

In Colorado, where voters legalized industrial hemp at a state level over six years before Congress did in 2018, established CBD companies can still fetch a high price. This past August, Colorado-based CBD company Balanced Health Botanicals was bought by a Canadian firm in a $75 million deal.
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Thomas Mitchell has written about all things cannabis for Westword since 2014, covering sports, real estate and general news along the way for publications such as the Arizona Republic, Inman and Fox Sports. He's currently the cannabis editor for westword.com.
Contact: Thomas Mitchell

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