You wouldn’t be wrong if you said the past few years have been very good to hemp. A long time ago, fields of hemp dotted the U.S., but the crop was soon classified as a controlled substance and banned for what would be decades. The 2018 Farm Bill changed all that. The legislation classified industrial hemp as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) and gave farmers the leeway to grow it under state and tribal programs.
The hemp sector grew at exponential rates once hemp was legal. Within just a year, hemp was worth millions of dollars in sales, with experts saying it may hit $20 billion by 2024.
Hemp itself is supremely versatile, with applications ranging from industrial, fabrics, construction and nutrition. However, a lot of the demand for hemp is driven by cannabidiol (CBD), a hemp extract said to have potent medicinal properties. Like THC, it’s one of the cannabinoids produced by cannabis, but the difference is that while THC is psychoactive and produces a high, cannabidiol doesn’t.
Although the CBD market is just as big, if not bigger than hemp, it is mostly unregulated, and that might come back to haunt the sellers who’ve already invested in hemp and CBD. New York is one of the states which has had a chaotic hemp sector, especially regarding CBD-infused beverages.
Last July, New York City health officials and the state Department of Agriculture and Markets made it clear that foods and beverages infused with CBD and marketed as food supplements were illegal. This was followed by a directive to CBD sellers; voluntarily remove all illegal products from stores and major business developments. Any CBD-infused food and beverages sold in the state had to qualify as supplements, and if they weren’t, they were being sold illegally.
This came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to several companies, warning them against selling CBD-infused foods and beverages and marketing them as therapeutic products.
However, there are still tons of these cannabidiol infused products on New York retail shelves. Although state regulators haven’t issued any fines, they are working on educating the businesses and performing compliance checks.
Last June, lawmakers approved legislation that would legalize CBD-infused drinks, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hasn’t signed off on it yet. If the bill is passed, CBD beverages will make up to 15% of an industry which is expected to be worth billions in a few years.
“There is a whole lot of money New York farmers and manufacturers have access to,” says Allan Gandelman, President of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association.
Experts are certain that CBD companies like No Borders Inc. (OTC: NBDR) look forward to a favorable CBD law not just in new York State but the entire country as well.
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