A new study shows CBD is expected to become a multi-billion-dollar market within the next few years.
The Brightfield Group, a market research firm that follows the cannabis business, predicts CBD will become a $22 billion market by 2022, according to Rolling Stone.
“What we started tracking this year was an explosion — face mask, bug bites, skin care, topicals,” Bethany Gomez, director of research for the Brightfield Group, tells Rolling Stone. “It’s being used for everything you can think of — sports, triathlons. People want to buy it for their grandma, for arthritis. Women get it for PMS and endometriosis — common things that people have been using over the counter medications.”
Federal marijuana prohibition, though, has had a negative impact on the CBD market. That’s because the Feds have not previously distinguished between marijuana and high-CBD industrial hemp. That has placed CBD in a legal gray area that has been filled by smaller makers and retailers and been avoided for the most part by big companies.
“This industry has grown out of nowhere, based on word of mouth marketing,” Gomez tells the magazine. “There’s no real mass market retailers that are covering it.”
That could change if Congress can pass the Farm Bill, which includes both subsidies for farmers and the Food Stamps program. The Senate has included full federal legalization of hemp production in the Farm Bill and legalization has powerful allies including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The House version of the Farm Bill does not include legalization. A conference committee is working to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill and there’s a chance hemp legalization could be included in the final bill.
Full hemp legalization could lead to an influx of large players in the CBD market, given CBD’s growing popularity.
Some commentators, though, are cautioning that the Brightfield Group’s analysis may be over-aggressive. States aren’t required to follow the federal government’s lead in legalizing hemp, which might slow the growth of the CBD industry.