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CBD Water Might Just Be the Next Big Thing Since White Claw

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CBD Water

Sparkling water that comes in different flavors are a big hit this month, and it was only a few weeks ago when White Claw suffered shortage nationwide due to its rising popularity.

Recently, a new kind of sparkling water is starting to make rounds on the internet because of its one ingredient that produces a good feeling once you consume it—CBD.

Cannabidiol, or CBD as it is more commonly known, is being infused in plenty of consumer products like cosmetics, coffee, beer, edibles, and tinctures. Companies are looking to expand to a bigger market by targeting bubble water production with the CBD twist, which offers relaxation effects.

These CBD-infused flavored seltzers are a great alternative to the hard seltzers and are quickly becoming a sensation in the market across the country. Some big distributors of beverages are quickly catching on the trend as well.

However, not everyone knows what CBD is, let alone why it’s growing famous these days. Does it cause the same high as its cousin product, marijuana? Why are CBD-laced refreshments manufactured and where to get them? Here are some of the things you need to know about CBD water.

Is CBD Illegal?

The Farm Bill of 2018 has given licenses to many growers across the US to cultivate and sell hemp and hemp products such as CBD. However, state and federal laws often don’t blend together, causing confusion in many states, particularly those that still have stringent regulations on cannabis.

Hemp is legal under federal laws as long as it has no more than 0.3% THC content. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is the active component of marijuana that causes its psychoactive properties.

While hemp and its derivative CBD is lawful in the federal point of view, state laws might still make these products illegal on a certain state, which is also the reason why CBD-containing sparkling drinks may not be legal in all of the US.

Robertson Allen, Ph.D., The Hartman Group senior consultant, advises companies that while CBD is viewed as legal nationwide, infusing it in drinks and food is another regulatory issue that falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA.

Soda-making company Sprig CEO Michael Lewis stated that the FDA stance on CBD is clear, which means that the substance is still now allowed to be incorporated in food and drinks today. It’s contradictory to the federal ruling, which is why the FDA is meeting pressure from both Congress and the general public.

Lewis also said that the FDA may likely allow CBD in consumable products anytime now or until 2020.

Why are Companies still pushing for CBD drinks?

Despite the FDA stance, companies are still interested in considering CBD as their next investment. This is because CBD is claimed to have therapeutic benefits, from pain relief to reduction of anxiety. It could be the next popular product especially for young people who are mostly suffering from anxiety.

Allen revealed that their latest study concerning health and wellness showed that consumers are trying out products that may manage or treat their anxiety. CBD-infused drinks might pique the interest of millennials and the Gen-Z since they are also curious about cannabis.

Benjamin Witte, CEO, and founder of the Recess brand attests to CBD’s effects because he has used it himself. He recalls trying CBD oil around two years back to tone down his anxiety and hyper personality.

Witte also notes how important it is to build a strong impact when establishing a beverage company. Like Mountain Dew and Sprite that advertise a dramatic change like becoming an athlete, the mood-altering effects of CBD can be a positive addition to the marketing strategy.

Another CBD sparkling water manufacturer from Colorado, DRAM Apothecary, incorporates more than the hemp extract since many plants also have great benefits to health.

CBD affects people differently, which is why such drinks may have varying degrees of relaxation if any at all. Witte likened it to coffee, wherein other people can’t tolerate the drink while some can have as much as four cups before bed.

There still isn’t any data on how much manufacturers are cashing in on the CBD water venture, but there are clues to note. Four of DRAM’s sparkling water are out of stock, and they have recently partnered with Coors to expand the business.

Where can CBD sparkling water be found?

The FDA decision on CBD might still be unclear, but beverage companies have started to market their respective products, usually through online stores. Others can already be found in convenience shops and groceries.

Allen says their company is selling to retailers who live in states that allow medical and recreational use of the substance.

Here are some of the brands that have CBD sparkling water in the market today:

Sprig

Sprig is based in Newport Beach, California and produces 0% THC CBD sodas. They use stevia as a sweetener and are promoting cocktail recipes that use their sodas in the mix.

DRAM Apothecary

The said Colorado-based company DRAM markets their CBD-infused Beauty Bubbles mixed with rosewater and hibiscus sparkling water. They sell herbal beverages that come in many flavors.

Weller

Another company from Colorado produces sugar-free CBD water and some bite-sized edibles.

Recess

Recess is a company from New York with a well-designed brand that makes them an Instagram favorite. Their CBD water is sold in NYC stores as well as in Miami and Southern California.

Present

The present is a brand that is the result of a partnership between hemp manufacturer WAAYB Organics and brewery from Colorado called Left Hand. These also come in many flavors.

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3 Developments in CBD for the Food and Beverage Industry in 2020

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Developments in CBD for the Food and Beverage

In 2019, the cannabidiol industry saw considerable growth, with the upward trend set to continue in 2020.

Despite the absence of federal guidelines, many CBD retailers delving into the food and beverage industry need to know about the three development points that may affect the sale of CBD products and the sector as a whole.

Clarification from the FDA

The Food and Drug Administration or FDA handed out several warning letters to CBD sellers, and as well as acknowledged the data gap and unanswered questions regarding CBD toxicity back in November 2019. Based on the Consumer Update published by the FDA, CBD incorporated into food or marketing as a dietary supplement is still illegal.

The FDA has included in its announcement the agency’s plan to explore other pathways that other CBD products can potentially be marketed with legal consent. It also looks forward to providing updates on the agency’s progress with the approach to be used on such products in the next few weeks.

Following this November announcement and the warning letters, CBD food, and beverage sellers need to be aware of the FDA’s next advisory regarding the products and how they could be lawfully marketed in 2020.

State and local response

The lack of federal guidance has prompted states to take matters in their own hands and craft a regulatory patchwork. However, these rules come in conflict with other established regulations across the US. In Maryland and New York, CBD-infused drinks and food are illegal. In the latter, city officials have sanctioned five restaurants that sell CBD edibles. The penalties range from $200-$650.

Industry players should watch out for the actions respective states will take amid the scarce federal regulation. New York has already passed a new law to take effect in March 2020, establishing the regulatory framework for CBD sale. New rules are bound to be issued by officials in the coming weeks.

Litigation

Class action litigation in the CBD industry is expected to rise in number this year, especially in cases concerning the food and beverage companies that sell CBD-infused products. Several lawsuits on the federal level have been filed against CBD manufacturers that allegedly violate the consumer protection laws of a state.

Industry experts predict that an avalanche of CBD-related complaints and lawsuits is imminent in 2020.

Further action

State and federal officials are set on determining the right course of action to take regarding CBD. Several private plaintiffs are also waiting for the developments in the food and beverage sector of the CBD industry. The high availability of CBD and CBD-containing products and the FDA’s latest pronouncement can stir a commotion in the private sector.

Cannabidiol manufacturers should, therefore, be on the lookout for any new changes or regulations in the industry to avoid legal complications and ensure that the CBD items they produce are lawfully allowed for sale.

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CBD Industry Goes Local, citing ‘Wild Wild West’

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CBD Industry Goes Local, citing ‘Wild Wild West’

CBD is being hyped up across states, but the budding industry in Michigan is still navigating through the unclear regulatory landscape. CBD or cannabidiol was initially dismissed as a marijuana relative, but its alleged health and wellness benefits make it an early crowd favorite.

Today, CBD is everywhere in Michigan and is touted as a wellness product that doesn’t give the users a high, unlike its cousin marijuana. It’s found in shelves of Kroger and Family Video, and are sold as oils, bath products, and lotions. Some people feed it to their pet horses or infused them in ice cream.

Banking on CBD

Mother Earth Natural Health sibling owners Arianna and Tory Welsh started in 2016 when their father wanted a pain reliever that does not have psychoactive effects like medical marijuana. Today, they have three store branches and two more in the works for next year. They expect a 300-400% growth in sales for 2019.

The local market is now filled with the first harvest of industrial hemp since World War II. Michigan’s pilot program prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to view the hemp industry as a potential enterprise creator. In early November, Michigan issued 572 licenses for growers and 433 permits for processor-handlers.

Welsh believes that Michigan-made CBD oil will be made available in as early as December or in January.

Urban Roots CBD LLC, a Monroe-based manufacturer, produces CBD tinctures, gummies, pet oil, topical creams, and more using out-of-state sourced hemp. However, the company’s co-founders Alex Kolpacke and Brandon Koz are hoping to become entirely Michigan-sourced.

All about hemp

Hemp is a variety of Cannabis sativa L. that does not contain more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, the active component responsible for the high in marijuana. CBD is the non-psychotropic compound that can be extracted from the hemp and marijuana variety, but the federal law based on the 2018 Farm Bill specifies hemp-derived CBD as legal.

Last March, the Michigan DA and Bureau of Marijuana Regulation released CBD guidelines, although rules are still shifting due to the new interim rules issued by the USDA regarding industrial hemp. However, not one agency claims to govern sales for CBD in Michigan, adding to the confusion and murky regulation on the substance.

CBD has gotten famous over the years due to its alleged health and wellness benefits, alleviating conditions like pain, anxiety, stress, and even sleep deprivation. There has been strong clinical evidence for CBD’s effectiveness in helping with epilepsy in children, but experts believe that more research should be done to prove the other therapeutic claims of CBD.

Trey Malone, assistant professor, an economist at Michigan State University expresses his uncertainty on where the CBD market is headed. There is a lot of confusion, especially considering that the substance was included as a Schedule 1 in the Controlled Substances Act not long ago.

The CBD industry is dubbed by many as the “Wild Wild West” due to the inconsistency of quality, regulations, and health benefits. Malone cites the lack of data for consumer trends on CBD.

Growth and uncertainty

CBD’s lack of clarity in regulations was evident when the Detroit Health Department cracked down the sale of CBD-infused drinks, which are currently still not FDA-approved for purchase and consumption.

However, known retailers like Family Video now sell gummies, edibles, and CBD water in Michigan. Several others are doing the same amid the FDA’s lack of approval on CBD food intake.

CBD as food additives is still not federally legal, according to Detroit-based lawyer and owner of a law firm, Atty. Scott Roberts. He also notes that the rule is not actively enforced due to the current period of uncertainty in the CBD market today.

Based on a report by The Nielsen Co., the cannabis market can grow to a $6B industry in 2025. Brightfield Group also predicts the market to grow to $5B by the end of this year, with a foreseeable growth of up to $23.7B by 2023.

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Senator Relays Personal Experience with Cannabidiol

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Senator Relays Personal Experience with CBD

A confirmation hearing for the Food and Drug Administration commissioner by the Senate veered towards the discussion of cannabidiol or CBD, as senators asked about the federal regulation circling the substance.

Lawmaker Pat Roberts recounted during the discussion his personal experience with the use of CBD oil, for which he expressed particular interest in the agency’s take on the said product.

Roberts Points Out Issues on CBD

Pat Roberts, a Kansas Republican lawmaker, recalls his wife encouraging him to try applying topical CBD oil on his bad “football” knees. However, the substance failed to bring pain relief, which also prompted him to discuss the lack of regulation regarding the product.

The Trump nominee for FDA commissioner being questioned at the confirmation hearing was Dr. Stephen Hahn. Roberts pointed out to him that there have been several reports and studies that show labeling inaccuracy on CBD products. He also voiced concern on the unregulated market, saying that there are many questions about the safety of these hemp-derived products.

Roberts also mentioned how CBD is now being used for everything, jokingly adding hair growth as an example. He went on to say that farmers are also pushing for a robust framework for such products since it is an expanding market, and growers want in on it.

Hahn answered by agreeing that CBD is now widely accessible and needs more data, research, and science to prove its efficacy and safety for consumers. He also stated that the FDA is in the process of creating a transparent and precise framework for CBD from a medical perspective.

Roberts is currently the Agriculture Committee chairman of the Senate.

CBD’s lack of federal regulation

Several industry critics call out the FDA for dragging the rulemaking process so that issues can be addressed with official rules. As of writing, the agency is yet to release federal guidelines on CBD use, which also frustrates industry players like growers, manufacturers, and sellers.

Hemp-derived products like CBD have been federally legalized since December 2018, when the Farm Bill was successfully passed into law. However, the market is still mostly unregulated since the FDA has not issued an approval for many CBD products that are circulating the industry today.

There is only one CBD-infused medication that the FDA recognizes, which is the Epidiolex. This drug is used to treat intractable epilepsy.

The agency is struggling to hand out regulations, and it may partly be due to the lack of quantifiable scientific research discussing this hemp derivative. There is a significant lack of evidence when it comes to proving therapeutic claims involving CBD.

Although lacking proof, cannabidiol is widely popular for its non-psychoactive properties since it does not have tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, the cannabis component responsible for the high that users experience in marijuana.

CBD is believed to be a natural cure-all for many health conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, several types of pain, and more.

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