H; ;;;; HEALTH & WELLNESS HANDBOOK WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS
Cannabidiol, or CBD—a term once exclusive to “stoners,” hippies and free spirits of the coun- terculture—has rapidly evolved into a household word shared by conventionalists and bohemians alike. Embraced by some as the most revolu- tionary discovery since penicillin while simul- taneously shunned by others as a ;eeting fad oomed by impending government regulation, CBD is arguably the hottest, and most ambiguous, retail topic of ;;;;.
Touted as an elusive elixir that o;ers a number of physical and mental health bene;ts, CBD caught mainstream
attention with the passage of the Agriculture Improvement
Act of ;;;;, also known as the Farm Bill, which removed
hemp from the Controlled Substances Act ;CSA; and le-
CBD IN GROCERY
galized industrial hemp cultivation. Practically overnight,
hemp-derived CBD products—and the correlated hype
around them—had ;ooded the market, and there’s a CBD-based product for ostensibly everyone and everything.
But what is CBD? And, more important, what is it not?
In literal terms, CBD is one of the ;;; chemical compounds, known as cannabinoids, found in hemp or marijuana plants that works with the endocannabinoid system
in the human body to regulate bodily functions. It is non-psychoactive, unlike its notorious sibling, tetrahydrocan-nabinol ;THC;, and o;ers an alluring, all-natural option for
consumers seeking holistic relief for countless conditions,
including pain, anxiety, in;ammation and spasms, sans the
lethargic side e;ects of its prescription counterparts.
In broader terms, hemp-derived CBD is a new wellness
phenomenon that’s increasingly making its way into considerable health, beauty and food and beverage applications. Retailers have the possibility to cash in on this cash
crop, which analysts project will be a multibillion-dollar
business within ;ve years.
However, while the ;;;; Farm Bill has been integral in
paving a path toward the category’s consummation, the
course is not without obstacles. National hemp regulations
from the U.S. Department of Agriculture ;USDA; are pending, and the scope of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s ;FDA’s; authority to ban CBD from food, drugs and
cosmetics remains obscure. As such, retailers and manufacturers are searching for direction through the intrinsic
maze of hemp’s complexities and uncertainties, with some
boldly marching head on, others proceeding with caution
and many awaiting a ;nalized map before diving in.
While the pathway is indeed hazy, experts agree that
one concept is clear: Budding opportunities are embedded within the weeds.
Unpacking the 2018 Farm Bill
As retailers prepare to venture into the precarious CBD
landscape, it is important to ;rst examine the terrain at
hand, because the passage of the ;;;; Farm Bill sparked
equal parts excitement and confusion in terms of next
steps for business operators.
Cannabis enthusiasts rejoiced at the bill’s landmark removal of hemp from the CSA, provided it contains no more
than ;.;; THC on a dry-weight basis, as well as the legalization of the sale, cultivation, possession and transport of
industrial hemp across state lines for commercial purposes.
However, the bill leaves several yet-to-be-determined
caveats—paramount to which tasks the USDA with determining national hemp regulations “as expeditiously
as practicable,” based on ;ndings of a yearlong study of
the ;; existing hemp states’ progress to “determine the
economic viability of the domestic production and sale of
industrial hemp,” to be submitted to Congress.
A look at the complexities, uncertainties and
possibilities related to the burgeoning category.
By Rebekah Marcarelli and Natalie Taylor
Estimate of CBD
market size by 2023
Source: Hemp Industry Daily