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Goop alumni launch the “Sephora of CBD” to target the cannabis curious

As CBD morphs from niche to mainstream, the onslaught of new products containing the compound proves relentless. Every day brings another body lotion, beverage, gumdrop, even wine–each claiming to offer relaxing and pain-relieving benefits. It’s hard to keep track (or make sense of it all), which is why two former Goop directors built an online marketplace solely devoted to the trendy cannabis compound.

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Founders of Fleur Marché, Ashley Lewis and Meredith Schroeder. [Photo: courtesy of Rodolfo Carlos/Fleur Marché]
On Monday, Ashley Lewis and Meredith Schroeder launched Fleur Marché, a retail platform targeting women in an industry slated to top $22 billion by 2020. The one-stop shop educates consumers about the benefits and uses of CBD, while selling a medley of products ranging across the skincare, edibles, and body care categories.

“Despite the fact that cannabis (and CBD, specifically) is taking center stage in the health and wellness industries, the retail space is fragmented, the experiences are clunky and unsophisticated,” explains Lewis in an email to Fast Company, “there is not great education on what the various products do, where they were sourced–are they safe, clean, tested–and how to use them.”

The cofounders believe that, despite the influx of new brands, women are sorely underserved by the cannabis industry. While progress is being made, many still feel restricted by the legacy stigma stamped on the once-outlawed ingredient. But the opportunity is there: The Cannabis Consumers Coalition (CCC) found that, nowadays, women consume cannabis as frequently as men.

With a female-focused platform, explains Schroeder, they can speak directly to the “MVP of consumers about cannabis in terms that feel relevant to their life and needs, and deliver an experience that specifically addresses how she thinks and shops.”

[Photo: courtesy of Rodolfo Carlos/Fleur Marché]
The self-described “cannabis apothecary” features more than 50 high-end items, many of which seem to fit the style and wellness ethos of the cofounders’ former employer. With a heavy focus on self-care, the curated selection includes vape pens, eye masks, bath bombs, and body lotions starting at $12 all the way up $160. A 12. oz batch of Columbian coffee ($35.99), for example, promises to balance out caffeine jitters.

There’s also a heavy focus on female pain relief with products spanning calming oils to medicinal patches. A collection of starter kits tackle four separate issues: sleep, anxiety, period pain, and skincare woes.

[Photo: courtesy of Rodolfo Carlos/Fleur Marché]
The team vets all products for extract ingredient quality and certificates of analysis, along with information on where the products are manufactured. The site then provides customers with full transparency as well as information on best dosages based on their own internal testing results.

Fleur Marché joins similar CBD retailers, such as Poplar, which curates an assortment of vetted, independently tested CBD products. Mainstream retailers also dipped into the market: Sephora now carries Lord Jones CBD body lotion and KUSH CBD-oil based mascara. The cofounders are less concerned about the latter, believing there’s more promise in building a devoted niche audience.

“We have a great opportunity to be the real authority in this space,” says Schroeder.

Last month, President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, which now permits all states to legally produce hemp. Such advancements point to greater growth in the hemp-based CBD industry, and Fleur Marché intends to capture the incoming audience–albeit, women with discretionary income.

“I think we’re just scratching the surface of how brands will incorporate it into different kinds of products,” says Lewis. “The more we can spread the word about that, the more we can normalize it, the bigger this thing becomes.”

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