One hot start-up sector in Germany at the moment is products made from the cannabis derivative cannabidiol or CBD. Evidence suggests that CBD can alleviate disorders ranging from anxiety and insomnia to epilepsy without creating dependence or having intoxicating effects.
The World Health Organization has declared that there is no evidence of CBD causing any public health problems, which led the European Court of Justice to clear the way for its legal use with a ruling in November 2020. That’s served as a signal to start-ups. Forbes magazine has described the CBD market as “booming.”
“This judgement was an important step toward getting rid of uncertainties about whether CDB products pose a health risk and are illegal,” Finn Hänsel, the head of Berlin start-up Sanity Group, told business newspaper Wirtschaftswoche.
Sanity Group concluded EUR 20 million in series A financing in 2020, and its investors include 2014 Football World Cup winner Mario Götze. Its brand name Vaay is doing around a million a year in turnover, according to Hänsel.
CBD products include bath salts, oils, sprays, lozenges and teas and are sold both online and in perfumery outlets.