Edible Arrangements founder Farid breaks into CBD biz – Hartford Business

Tariq Farid, founder and longtime CEO of the formerly Connecticut-based Edible Arrangements, is pivoting into the booming CBD (cannabidiol) business.

Farid, through his Farids & Co. LLC company, has formed Incredible Edibles, which plans to grow nearly 20 acres of hemp products at Kasheta Farms in South Windsor, officials said Tuesday. The entity includes Edible Arrangements and its California-based affiliate, Berry Direct.

Last July, Farid stepped down as Edible’s CEO before the company relocated its Wallingford headquarters to Atlanta months later.

Connecticut lawmakers in May authorized the creation of a pilot program that legalizes the production and sales of industrial hemp, which is a type of cannabis plant comprised of a non-intoxicating substance known as CBD. The law change means hemp is no longer a controlled substance.

CBD is often used for pain relief, or to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia, among many other uses. 

Photo | Contributed

Hemp is a type of cannabis plant.

Incredible Edibles is leading a group of Connecticut farming and agricultural professionals in the South Windsor hemp farming and oil extraction project, which is being seeded by a $50,000 investment from the town of South Windsor, according to the town council’s meeting minutes. Partners include Kasheta Farms, Enfield’s Jarmoc Farms and UConn, which in recent years has operated a Storrs-based hemp research program.

Incredible Edibles’ total operating budget, including the town’s investment, is estimated at approximately $266,000. The company is contributing roughly $142,000 for hemp seeds, hemp expertise, licensing and data collection.

Under the town’s investment, it plans to contribute to the growing, drying and processing of hemp plants at local farms in order to extract hemp oil. Incredible Edibles would then produce the CBD powder that would be sold to stores for them to infuse in their drinks and baked goods, a company spokeswoman said.

The town will receive a share of profits in 2020 if the project is financially successful, town officials say.

On Wednesday afternoon, Farid will be joined by state and locals in celebrating the launch of the collaborative program in South Windsor at 1523 Main St.

Farid is entering a rapidly growing CBD market that’s expected to post over $5 billion in sales this year, up more than 700 percent from last year, according to a recent report from Brightfield Group, which projects a market as big as $23.7 billion by 2023. 

The Journal Inquirer contributed to this updated report

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