It isn’t the death knell it’s been made out to be
When 2019 began, it was expected to be an incredibly “green” year for the cannabis industry. Canada had just commenced recreational weed sales in October 2018; higher-margin derivative products were expected to hit dispensary shelves in Canada soon thereafter; and President Trump had just signed the farm bill into law, thereby legalizing the industrial production of hemp and hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD).
Arguably, the greatest excitement surrounded CBD, the nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that’s best known for its perceived medical benefits. Since CBD doesn’t get users high, there’s a considerably broader patient pool for infused products than anything marijuana related. And it also doesn’t hurt that the U.S. population is considerably larger than Canada, providing a juicier opportunity for the CBD industry.
Moreover, with President Trump signing the farm bill into law, it allowed general stores, such as pharmacies and grocers, the opportunity to carry hemp-derived CBD products. In other words, no longer are CBD products carried only in cannabis dispensaries. This more encompassing retail presence should provide a boost to industry sales.
According to the Brightfield Group, U.S. CBD product sales are expected to increase from around a pedestrian $600 million in 2018 to $23.7 billion by 2023. For those of you keeping score at home, this is, indeed, a compound annual growth rate of more than 100% per year over a five-year stretch. This makes CBD a much faster-growing niche than cannabis as a whole.
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