Verus International’s (VRUS.OTC) story began last month when they signed a deal with a national distributor to put their keystone CBD brand Pachyderm Labs into every gas station and convenience store they could in America.
Now your mileage may vary on this one, but the prospect of buying a CBD product from my local 7-11 or the rundown gas station on the corner is of somewhat limited appeal. Gas stations and convenience stores should receive patronage when there’s no other option—namely, at 3:30 a.m when your craving for a stale chocolate bar or three day old hungryman sub that tastes vaguely like cardboard overwhelms your need to not have the runs ruin the rest of your weekend.
Or if you’re high. If you’re high all bets are off.
Still, there seem to be plenty of people out there with more than a little intestinal fortitude:
“This is the first phase of a channel filling period under which we have targeted 10,000 or more stores by early 2021. We will receive sell-through data after we log a couple of months on retail shelves, but we are pleased with our initial feedback from retailers and customers who have seen and sampled our products. When we have enough locations verified as in-stock, we will publish a list of locations so that analysts and investors can try the products and experience the quality of our brands first hand,” said Anshu Bhatnagar,Verus CEO.
The company has a long term plan to create a dedicated division focused on consumer health products. They’re combining their Verus Cares division and CBD-products under the Pachyderm subsidiary.
Pachyderm’s August goal is to close the deals that will have them in 500 locations by early September, with shipments concentrated in Texas, Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The first phase of distribution will focus on specialty and smaller retail stores that carry CBD products. The product mix includes 32 different SKU’s, with nine different SKU’s per location, consisting of topicals and edibles.
That’s right. You’ll be able to soon buy gas station edibles next to your big gulp slushy, two week old ice cream, and soggy taquitos. This is truly a brave new world, ladies and gentlemen. Emphasis on brave.
Pachyderm has two brands: “Elephant Hemp” and “U-Try CBD,” which represent multiple flavour and aroma variations, including health-enhancing oils, creams, lotions and of course, CBD infused energy flavour shots and edibles. Frankly speaking, if I was on a road-trip in my twenties and we paused for a refill at a gas station and saw something called “U-Try CBD,” we would’ve probably prodded one another with stories about what we could expect, and then tried it for the sheer morbid curiosity factor.
Marketers take heed: you absolutely cannot discount the pure morbid curiosity factor, especially when it comes to products sold in convenience stores and gas stations, and when your customers are high.
You’ll either discover a hidden gem like Otis Spunkmeyer brownies, which look like turds wrapped in tinfoil and taste like God came down to give you specifically a chunk of chocolate ambrosia (still wrapped in tinfoil), or you’ll ruin your weekend, like the above named sandwich.
That’s the risk you’re taking with gas station edibles. Determine your own risk tolerance.