Hemp-powered skincare brand Hey Bud has rolled into more than 400 Priceline stores nationwide, as the startup readies for Australian authorities to embrace a greater variety of cannabis and CBD-infused products.
Hey Bud offers a range of serums, cleansers, and clay masks infused with hempseed oil, a natural product touted for its anti-inflammatory properties.
While hemp is derived from the cannabis plant family, hempseed oil contains no psychoactive ingredients — even if the Hey Bud name does cheekily allude to the plant’s more well-known cousin.
Officially launched in 2020 by Melbourne co-founders Alex Roslaniec, Ollie Watts, and Fedele D’Amico, Hey Bud commands its own webstore and an engaged, youthful fanbase with more than 210,000 Instagram followers.
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The company claims to have made $10 million in sales in its brief history.
Partnering with Priceline will help the brand reach even more young customers, Roslaniec says, given the overlap between Hey Bud’s existing users and the pharmacy chain’s core customer base.
“What we found from speaking to a few different retailers was that Priceline’s customer demographic really made a lot of sense for us,” Roslaniec told SmartCompany.
“So a lot of our customers do shop in the likes of Priceline, and they also have a very similar age demographic as well.”
“We know customers have been wanting to see our products on store shelves for a while now, and we are so excited to finally make that happen,” co-founder Ollie Watts said in a statement.
The company is also exploring international distribution opportunities, Fedele added.
More broadly, the Priceline expansion will help Hey Bud on its mission of “actually educating our customers, and making sure that we are breaking down the stigma of cannabis because it doesn’t have this psychoactive component to it”.
At the same time, Hey Bud is keeping a keen eye on the CBD product market.
While doctors are free to prescribe pharmaceutical cannabis in certain circumstances, access to cannabis-based products like CBD oil is strictly regulated in Australia.
Given the prevalence of legalised CBD-infused consumer products in the US, Canada, and the UK, Roslaniec says customers are eager to hear about legislative developments at home.
“What we’re finding from a lot of our customers is they’re actually asking us, they’re looking to us for answers when CBD will become legal within Australia,” he said.
“I believe that it’s only a matter of time before CBD and cannabis become more recreationally legalised here in Australia which we are keeping a very close eye on,” he added.
The company is “talking to formulators overseas to understand what the process looks like as well so that we are ready to pivot into that space.”