This week, Rolling Stone published an exclusive new report from the Brightfield Group predicting massive growth in the CBD market. According to analysts, the American market could reach $20 billion by 2020.
This is much higher than recent projections from other organizations. For example, we reported last month on a study from New Frontier Data. That firm predicted CBD-industry growth at a much slower rate, reaching $2 billion by 2022.
What accounts for the wildly different projections? The Brightfield Group is optimistic about the impact of the 2018 Farm Bill, which could remove industrial hemp (in other words, all cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC) from the controlled substances list.
But Forbes critiqued the resulting projections, noting that while the bill would remove federal restriction on hemp, individual states could still choose not to implement hemp programs.
The House Judiciary Committee offered a big win to cannabis researchers on Thursday morning. The committee approved the Medical Cannabis Research Act of 2018, which will make it easier for researchers to study cannabis. Rep. Matt Gaetz sponsored the bill, along with 40 other representatives from both sides of the aisle.
The most memorable quote of the day may have come from Rep. Ted Lieu:
This whole thing is just sort of stupid. We need to make sure that we legalize cannabis at some point.
But the supply of research-grade cannabis is just one of the many challenges facing researchers who want to study cannabinoids.
The Director of UCLA’s Infantile Spasms Program, Dr. Shaun Hussain, wrote about the government’s “chokehold” on this research in Spectrum News. From cumbersome regulations to unscientific policies, Hussein describes the obstacle posed by DEA regulations, saying:
The agency’s illogical and stubborn stance makes it all but impossible for scientists to study cannabidiol. I persevered and eventually succeeded in launching a study, but no doubt many others give up, robbing us of valuable insight into marijuana’s potential benefits.
What disturbs me most about these cumbersome regulations is that they discourage many talented and motivated researchers from investigating the potential value of marijuana. This plant, known for millennia for its purported medicinal properties, contains 100 mostly unexplored chemicals (known collectively as cannabinoids), any one of which could aid the treatment of not just epilepsy and autism but any number of conditions.
People with these conditions are potentially missing out — and why? The more I learned about the federal stance toward marijuana, the clearer it became that it is medically uninformed and often defies common sense.
After the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy issued guidance last month on CBD oil, many retailers began pulling products from their shelves. That’s because the board declared that CBD oil may only be sold in state-licensed dispensaries.
But other CBD sellers around the state are defying that directive, and plan to stay in business until the state takes legal action to stop them. As E.R. Beach, who owns four hemp stores in Cincinnati and Dayton, told Cincinnati.com:
They (law enforcement) are going to have to charge me, and if they charge me, it’ll be for possession of marijuana, and when they test the product, they’ll find that it’s not a marijuana product. They could do that at any time.
Canadian cannabis company Tilray has successfully imported CBD oil to the UK.
The UK Home Secretary reviewed medical cannabis policies this year, in part due to the outcry over the confiscation in June of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell’s cannabis oil. The plant-based medicine had been prescribed to treat his intractable epilepsy, and his condition worsened after the authorities withheld his medicine.
Also in the UK, the Veterinary Medicines Directorate issued a statement on veterinary medicinal products containing cannabidiol. Essentially, the guidance declares that products containing CBD “are veterinary medicines and should be regulated as such.”
This means that CBD products for use in animals must be authorized for sale before they can go to market in the UK. As no products currently meet that standard, vets may prescribe a legally obtained human CBD product instead.
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