Mainstream retail agents are slowly opening up to the vast possibilities of CBD or cannabidiol for manufacturing beauty and wellness products. CBD is extracted out of hemp and does not cause a high like that of marijuana. These products are gaining record popularity amidst legal confusions for being of great assistance in helping tackle sleep problems and reducing anxiety.
Although the legal status of CBD remains under a veil of confusion, retailers are trying to reap the biggest benefits out of this booming industry. As per Investment firm Cowen & Co., retail sales of CBD consumer products are estimated to have crossed over $2 billion in 2018. This figure is expected to hit the $16 billion mark within 2025.
CBD Future Plans
Growing demand has led to a market filled with CBD infused offerings ranging from bath balms to dog treats in the past few months. Martha Stewart a domestic diva has been associating for the past few months with Canada’s Canopy Growth Corp. for coming up with fresh bunch of CBD products.
Simon Property Group, one of the nation’s largest mall owner collaborated with a manufacturer of CBD goods to open around 100 kiosks within mid-summer in its U.S. malls. Similarly, Authentic Fitness is targeting the fall months for launching its CBD oils, foot creams and soaps under the brand name of Nine West. CVS Health is also going to initiate the sale of CBD-infused lotions, creams, salves and sprays in its 800 plus stores sprawling across its seven states. Its big-time rivals Rite Aid and Walgreens are also expected to follow suit in days to come.
The high-end CBD retailers can charge anything ranging from $12-$150 per ounce for their offerings. While Barneys New York has sprung up an outlet in Beverly Hills, California for selling CBD-infused creams apart from accessories like hand blown glass bongs, Neiman Marcus has added to its existing product line-up with five new CBD-infused lotion soaps, balms and masks.
Matthew Mazzucca, the creative director at Barneys New York was quoted as saying that, “There’s definitely a huge opportunity for expansion.” However, he was aware of the legal hurdles which can slow down the entire process.
Brands like Walmart are placing a safe bet by waiting for accompanying legislation to take shape. Target on the other hand is currently monitoring the situation. It is imperative note here that Target sold products having hemp extracts in 2017 but yanked them once the legislative setup started getting heated up.
Online giant Amazon is also steering clear of CBD related products as of now. According to its spokeswoman Cecilia Fan, the company presently prohibits the sale of CBD-infused products and remove them as and when the same gets posted on their portal.
CBD is known to treat anxiety and pain while also assisting people suffering from sleep deficiency so that they can concentrate more on upcoming work. However, most of these studies were conducted on mice and rats in test tubes which creates serious doubt regarding its authenticity and applicability on humans. Although research has also been conducted on humans, the number is not substantial enough.
Drugs which have passed the scrutiny of U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be marked as completely safe and effective means of preventing diseases and treating medical conditions. But in many cases, CBD-manufacturers try to trick the general public by beating around the bush with misleading and confusing words.
Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University in San Francisco feels that, “We are a more anxious society and people are looking for cures. There’s a growing distrust in business and pharma and so people are wanting to find cures that seem more real and wholesome.”
Former food scientist from Indianapolis, 46-year-old Amy Nichols has been using CBD oils for fighting various symptoms of an autoimmune illness for quite some time now. “For me, this is a more natural solution to treating symptoms that I am having instead of taking pain killers,” added Nichols who is presently working as a sales representative of the CBD oil brand which she has been using for health benefits. “I have more energy. I get more done. I am in less pain. I am more active,” she happily concludes.
Patchy Legislative Framework
The regulatory framework pertaining to CBD has been varying between states and cities. The regulators of New York city have completely prohibited outlets from selling CBD-infused beverages and foods. Retailers have also been threatened with levy of hefty fines if they break the guidelines by any chance. States like California and Ohio have also followed suit.
The governor of Maine on the other hand has signed an emergency bill for showing a green signal to the production of CBD-infused products after warnings were given by state inspectors for pulling them off shelves earlier this year. A farm bill was passed in the latter half of last year which gave regulatory authority to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several of its states to regulate the production of industrial hemp thus opening the floodgate for production of more hemp-derived CBD products.
However, FDA was given the ultimate authority to regulate food supply. The agency recently warned about the illegality of adding THC or CBD to any form of animal or human food or beverages. Even dietary supplements with CBD infusions have been branded with an illegal tag.
Bigger market players like Walgreens and CVS have decided to go ahead with lotions and creams as FDA has not expressed any concern in this department. Others are taking a chance and selling CBD-infused supplements and drinks with the hope of earning profit. Whitt Steineker, a Birmingham, Alabama, attorney feels that,“They have determined the reward is worth the risk.”
Although the landscape of CBD future still remains unclear with further scope of guidance and rules for being written, Steineker holds the view that, “Now that hemp is legal, I think the USDA and state departments of agriculture are interested in seeing what type of crop it will be and what its applications are. They’ll move with the speed governments often move with … (but) by the 2020 growing season, people will have a better understanding how to operate within the law.”
US Navy Warns Their Sailors Not to Take CBD
Marines and sailors were told by the US Navy to stop and avoid using CBD and other hemp-derived products.
The US Navy legislation includes a clause that forbids servicepeople from using, ingesting, consuming and applying any cannabinoid preparation that is derived from marijuana or hemp.
Despite the legislation signed by President Donald Trump that removes industrial hemp from the controlled substances list of the federal government, Navy officials still affirm that their members should avoid hemp extracts and CBD products.
There is still a lot of controversy regarding CBD and its legality in the US. The Farm Bill signed last December has made most cannabidiol-containing products legal, although the FDA or Food and Drug Administration has reiterated that CBD-infused food is still illegal in the US.
Navy CBD Ban
A spokesperson for the US Navy stated that the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 has not affected in any way the policies of their agency. Despite the law, every product that is derived or made from marijuana or hemp are still very much prohibited.
The Navy stated that hemp-derived products that are commercially available like the CBD oil are not FDA-approved and therefore have no valid claims regarding the diagnosis, treatment, prevention or cure of any illness. They concluded that since the products do not properly list all their ingredients, it is impossible to determine the cannabidiol, THC or other synthetic cannabinoid levels such products may contain.
The agency defines Use as taking any cannabis preparation whether orally ingested, injected intravenously, vaporized/smoked or any other form by which such hemp-derived items may be introduced to the body, which potentially exposes the individual to high psychoactive THC levels.
Risk for Discharge
Navy servicepeople who show positive results for THC tests and other substances that are not prescribed by their doctor could be subject for discharge known as OTH or Other Than Honorable. This label can affect their employment opportunities and benefits as future veterans.
The Navy spokesperson added that every Sailor is responsible for ensuring their diligence in evading accidental or intentional contact with THC or any other controlled substance.
Just last month, police watchdogs from Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board or AZPOST ruled that Arizona cops are allowed to use CBD and hemp-related products.
AZPOST stated on their ruling that the possession or use of over-the-counter CBD-containing products is not related to the illegal possession or use of marijuana, which is a dangerous narcotic drug.
In a report by the Pheonix New Times, it is in AZPOST’s history that OTC CBD use is regarded with the same treatment as in cannabis from a medical dispensary.
In Arizona, cannabis is lawful if used medically, but illegal for recreational purposes.
Lawmakers Pen Letter to Federal Agencies in Light of Growing CBD Industry
A group of US lawmakers addressed a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services or HHS and the Food and Drug Administration heads earlier this week to push for the establishment of regulations for CBD. This is in light of the cannabidiol industry showing great economic potential.
The group led by NY Democrat Rep. Antonio Delgado stated that the potential for a bigger market can affect the pharmaceuticals, paper, textiles, dietary supplements, and other products. Now that hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol are now federally legal following the 2018 Farm Bill.
Delgado, also a member of the House Committee on Small Business, reiterated that the CBD industry also paves way for more employment opportunities and better local economies as more small firms lead the movement.
A hearing was heard by the panel last month to answer the challenges and opportunities for hemp enterprises regarding the federal prohibition framework.
Alongside Delgado are Committee Chairman Nydia Velasquez (Democrat, NY), Rep. Jared Golden (Democrat, ME), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (Democrat, NY) and Rep. Dwight Evans (Democrat, PA) who have all signed the message as well. Velasquez introduced another legislation earlier this week that provides insurance coverage for marijuana businesses.
What Lawmakers Wrote
The group collectively signed a letter that said the country’s farmers are looking forward to growing hemp and are awaiting the federal regulatory framework from the US Department of Agriculture. They also stated that businesses are gearing up on responding to consumer demands for hemp and its derivatives like CBD. However, the failure to clarify rules by the FDA confused businesses, consumers and farmers alike.
Ever since the passage of Farm Bill, the FDA and USDA have encountered pressure by different sectors to establish clear regulations. Last month, FDA said a status update will be released after the rulemaking process is fully expedited.
USDA, on the other hand, released a statement that said legal hemp regulations for cultivation will be given out before the planting season for 2020.
Lawmakers further added that the confusion regarding hemp regulation is hindering the growth and development of CBD businesses.
Scott Gottlieb, the former FDA commissioner, said that it may take years for CBD to be allowed in food or dietary supplements without congressional intervention. However, the group has declared that these products are already openly sold in commercial stores, pharmacies, restaurants and other places.
Pushing for More Clarity
The group of lawmakers also said that proper regulations will address the confusion on production, quality, labeling, testing, sale and marketing of hemp derivatives like CBD.
While the letter indicates that the group is appreciative of FDA’s efforts to ensure the public’s safety and guard them against unproven claims of other CBD companies, the hemp industry can’t take years of waiting for the agencies to create policies.
They further requested the FDA to develop benchmark quality standards for hemp and hemp derivatives production to harbor trust and satisfaction from consumers so that the industry can mature into a lawful market.
The FDA is expected by the group to release enforcement guidance and interim final ruling on CBD-infused food and dietary supplements by September 30. This is to pave way for a final and legal rule for such products, especially since the Federal government has recognized the hemp industry, and medical marijuana for some states as legal substances.
CBD Oil Brand Recalled for High THC Level by Irish Government
Dutch cannabinoid oil (CBD) brand EUPHORIA was found to have illegal levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in the formulation, causing the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to recall their 10ml preparation labeled “Full Spectrum Oil extra strong 20%”.
Hemp and CBD products are legal as per the regulation of the Irish government; however, the formula should not contain THC of more than 0.2% to be viable for sale.
Said oil brand came from the Netherlands and has a best-before date of 31 August in 2020. Distributors and retailers alike are forced to submit to authority and remove the brand from their displays immediately.
CBD is gaining popularity all over the world and is a steadily growing industry due to respective laws being legislated in a number of countries. However, controversy still can’t escape it since it is closely linked to marijuana and THC, which have potent psychoactive elements that can induce drug dependency.
Cannabis Reception in Ireland
In Ireland, cannabis is still a huge topic for debate for supporters and critics. Some people still doubt its efficacy and the presence of side effects that may prove dangerous for a person’s health. The question mark that follows cannabis is heightened because of this recent turn of events.
The country authorized the sale and use of medical cannabis last 2016, but it was met with opposition from a group of medical practitioners. It’s also a hard feat for patients to acquire such since the government failed to retain a central supplier.
To reconcile their lack in implementation, the Ministry of Health headed by Simon Harris recently signed into legislation the 5-year Medical Cannabis Access Program. It aims to push for cannabis treatment when traditional methods fail, according to Harris.
This initiative is designed to legalize medical cannabis prescription made by doctors for various conditions like chemotherapy-sickness, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis. Like any pharmaceutical product, patients can now present their Rx to drug stores and be given said medicine.
The program also involves the inventory-building of cannabis products, with Tilray being one of the international cannabis companies to successfully export their medical cannabis products to Ireland.
In relation to their first shipment, Tilray has pledged its commitment to providing for the subsequent demands of cannabis products once approved by the government. Their goal is to be the main supplier of the access program, enabling safe and reasonable access to medical cannabis
The company is currently at dialogue with the Irish authorities to shed some insight on the implementation of the newly penned program.
Unfortunately, Tilray failed to secure a spot in Italian cannabis export.
Cannabis in Neighboring Italy
Italy snubbed Tilray and two other international cannabis companies in favor of Aurora Cannabis (Canada) to fulfill the surprising shortage in production at the Florence facility. Italian Ministry of Defense further revealed that Tilray (Portugal) filed incorrect paper works and missed the set deadline, disqualifying them from the roster.
Albeit Italy’s willingness to pay for medical cannabis (the 400-kg cannabis deal cost them €569,000 (US$638,000), debates are also going over the country on whether low-THC “cannabis light” should be sold legally. The court ruled to ban the sale of such products, but enterprise owners fought back.
While it might be a phenomenal story to follow, Italians still appreciate cannabis products such as the CBD oil as an adjunct to medical treatments. Italy, including the Netherlands and Germany, are still the top three European countries with the strong medicinal cannabis industry.
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