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US Hemp Legislation Will Make 2019 a Banner Year for CBD

Last year has been a huge year for cannabidiol, and it’s hard to imagine that the market can sustain such an explosive trajectory into 2019. According to experts at cannabis research firm Brightfield Group, CBD could be poised to do just that. Their forecast puts CBD product sales at nearly US $24 billion by 2022 – 40 times the US $600 million racked up in 2018.

“We saw 80% growth in CBD this year and that was just from small- and mid-size retailers,” said Bethany Gomez, Brightfield Group’s Director of Research. “Now that larger retailers are already putting together their plans for what CBD products to carry, we expect the CBD market to hit $22 billion by 2022.”

Two major developments will act as a catalyst for this impressive growth over the next few years. There is the expected increase in sales from the states that held referendums in 2018 to legalise medical and recreational cannabis, all of which would include provisions for CBD in their legislation.

These recent dominoes falling across the board were somewhat predicted by industry players. Bigger yet is the new Farm Bill that was agreed upon by ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees just last week. The legislation would remove a major obstacle for hemp farmers and CBD producers, legalising hemp and hemp-derived CBD federally.

Brightfield Group expects the strongest areas of growth to be sales from CBD-infused skincare and beauty products. Although there are thousands of CBD companies competing for this market share, sales by the top 20 CBD producers accounted for one-third of the market in 2017. This year, that share increased to two-thirds of the market.

“Those are the brands that are going to be able to make it to the shelves of Target, Walgreens, and CVS,” said Gomez. “They are also the ones best suited to complete the required tests to win any necessary approvals.”

If the Farm Bill is passed in mid-December as planned, CBD would be removed from the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I list of banned substances at about the same time. The wave of CBD growth and investment that is sure to follow could make 2018 look like a ripple by comparison.