Kill Cliff CBD

Sports drink maker Kill Cliff is the latest brand to embrace CBD, announcing this week it will launch a hemp-infused sports recovery drink online and in retail this summer.

While several startup sports drink brands have looked to CBD as an anti-inflammatory functional ingredient, Kill Cliff is the first brand in the category with nationwide distribution to announce a CBD line. The new product, Kill Cliff CBD, includes 25 mg of full spectrum hemp CBD per 12 oz can and will be available in a single flavor, Orange Kush.

Kill Cliff has not yet determined a suggested retail price for the CBD line, but COO John Timar said the company is aiming for the product to have a “competitive premium price point” without being too expensive for consumers.

“Our athletes, our customers and our veterans who we support so dearly are all consuming [CBD] products,” Timar told BevNET in a phone call today. “There’s been a lot of evolution in this space over the last year and it looks like it’s rapidly moving to the future, so we want to be one of the pioneers and we want to bring our customers what they want.”

Kill Cliff — which is active in supporting military and veterans charities — has partnered with several veteran advocacy organizations to support the CBD line. Timar said many veterans the company has worked with currently use CBD as a way to treat PTSD-induced anxiety and physical pain.

The company will also target Crossfit athletes, Timar said, noting that CBD is an increasingly prominent presence at the fitness brand’s events and is an accepted recovery supplement for its official competitions.

“We have thousands of Crossfit gyms across the U.S. that sell our products,” he said. “There’s a lot of snake oil out there, so what our customer is looking for is a brand they can trust. And that’s where we can fill a void as a reputable and credible brand.”

The CBD product will be available for online pre-order next month and will begin shipping in August. Timar said the company is currently speaking with distributors for brick-and-mortar placement. Although he acknowledged that the uncertain regulatory environment around CBD currently limits the ability of hemp-infused food and beverage products to find shelf space in mainstream retailers, Timar said Kill Cliff’s robust direct-to-consumer network will allow the company to scale the line quickly.

But even ecommerce is becoming more complicated for CBD brands. In recent weeks some online payment processors have stopped supporting CBD product retailers, leading to some companies — including Thrive Market — to cease ecommerce sales. However, Timar said Kill Cliff has cleared the path for online sales ahead of next month’s launch.

“It’s hard to stand on the sidelines while trying to understand what we need to do as a company,” he said. “We’d rather get in the market. We will encounter things we couldn’t envision and we’ll work around them and figure out the best path forward. And we expect there will be changes over the next year, but we also expect we’re going to see more and more normalization of this market that will lead to clearer rules.”