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Should China Capitalize on $4.4 Billion Opportunities in Medical Cannabis Market

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China Cannabis Regulation

As the demand for CBD as a medicinal ingredient keeps increasing globally, many countries are seeking to legalize the production of this week all around. Countries like South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia already settled upon legalizing it, finally giving a steady supply to the demands.

Although China hasn’t decided to follow that route and decided to stay their current course and control and limit the Cannabis production, according to recent reports, China can and still has an open market of $4.4 Billion for the taking.

This prediction came to be due to the region of China providing a favorable climate for the production and growth of Hemp. Above that, China has a recorded history of hemp cultivation and topping it off with the population advantage, China has become the go-to source of Cannabidiol (CBD, a non-psychoactive substance present in hemp and cannabis) for the western world.

We have talked about how studies showed that the world is growing to have a $20 Billion Dollar market by 2024.  With a prospective market of $4.4 Billion, China may as well be able to take a big bite out of that share (around 22%). While Asia-Pacific countries like New Zealand begins to see this potential, China has yet to take action to legalize Hemp production.

China is still adhering to its limit of 0.3% THC in any medical products just like Europe. Even though the substance has shown significant results among the users of the substance for curative uses, the Chinese government is still strict about their laws concerning Cannabis production. Of course, we cannot totally disregard their concern about the possibility of substance abuse, but overlooking the possible benefits it can bring might opt this nation out of the $4.4 Billion-dollar market as well as the major health benefits it may bring.

If we look at the market patterns, we would have a strong reason to believe that the clinical evidence of its benefits, the world-wide acceptance of the substance and the economic possibilities may as well change the government’s stance in the future. But whether or not these winds of change can occur before the opportunity expires, still remains to be seen. Regardless, China is already being considered as a Cannabis Superpower despite their inactive participation in the production.

Even though the restrictions, the cultivation of this “green gold” is still going on in different provinces of China. According to the farmers, the production is bringing them about 1550 USD per hectare of the farmable land. With all that “real estate” up for grabs, the answer to “should China capitalize on the $4.4 Billion markets?” seems to be an easy one to answer. But whether or not the Chinese government really chooses to capitalize on this opportunity or not still remains to be seen. But one thing is certain if this cannabis superpower intends to enter the competition, the $20 Billion markets by 2024 prediction would be realized without a shred of doubt.

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Policy

CBD Products Can Now Be Sold In Texas Pharmacies

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CBD Texas Pharmacies

It’s been a while since East Texas actively started selling CBD products across retail stores, but it’s only this month that a regulatory framework has been established throughout Texas. Legislators are hoping that this step will help the future of the CBD industry despite the grey lines in health benefits.

Texas Hemp Farming Approved

Governor Greg Abbott recently signed an official bill that legalized hemp farming and CBD products sale provided the THC concentration is lower than 0.3%. According to Senator Perry, this is huge for farmers willing to cultivate hemp and for industries to use raw hemp for their purposes. He also mentioned how diverse the uses of the plant are, and that these uses can be beneficial for the economy. The hemp fiber, seeds, and oil have been shown to get great rapport among the public.

CBD Products To Be Manufactured In Texas

Although public opinion is largely positive, there have been certain circumstances where businesses have taken advantage of this. Many shops have been selling unchecked products ever since the bill has been signed, which means consumers are unaware of the contents inside the products. Also, some products such as CBD oil came from outside Texas, which means the products are not regulated through Texas authorities, and there are no measures of product quality control, according to Senator Perry.

With the signing of the bill, Texas can now develop its own hemp farms and create its own hemp derived products without relying on external sources. All hemp farmers must carry a license in this regard. With that, now, Texas can create its own hemp products, which would eventually earn the ‘Go Texan Brand’ certificate, which verifies that the products are grown and manufactured right in Texas, with quality control performed by Texas authorities. Hemp and CBD are related to the cannabis species, however, unlike marijuana, CBD cannot get people high, which make hemp a popular choice for farming.

Baby Steps towards the Hemp Industry

Sunny Krezdorn, a pharmacist at Rose City Pharmacy says that more people are keen on using CBD products. He expressed his interest in selling new CBD-infused products soon. With the law signed, he feels more comfortable in stocking and selling products in the pharmacy. There is still no word on when the new products will arrive. With 30 other states adopting hemp farming programs, Texas may get close competition but is still far behind. Production facilities are yet to start and farmers are still learning ways in which hemp can be produced efficiently. Perry hopes that Texas will get a large market share of the current 20 billion dollar hemp industry and expand its reaches a well.

A slight setback to Texas’s goals on CBD industries is the FDA’s recent attempt at regulating CBD products. There is a ban on using CBD in foods, cosmetics, drinks, and dietary supplements, as there is not enough scientific backup to prove the benefits that some of the products claim to provide. Despite a recent public hearing, FDA has yet to provide a set of guidelines for the use of CBD products, that coincide with the rules of the states and interests of the industries.

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Hemp Farming: Arizona Gets the Green Light

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Hemp Arizona

Looking at the recent legislation regarding the state laws of Arizona, we can finally see the hope that has been a long time coming. Although this decision has been made back in a 2018 state law, it has just come into effect recently, leaving the field ripe for hemp farming for the potential farmers. Whether or not they are going to capitalize on that, yet remains to be seen.

The Modern Hemp Market

Hemp, at the moment, is popular for one of its derivatives: Cannabidiol or CBD for short. This substance is a form of oil that has relaxant, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. Many have adopted it as a substitute for more addictive compounds used as pain-killers, such as opium, due to its non-addictive properties.

Apart from its medical uses, CBD is also extremely popular among the food industry, with many different restaurants and coffee shops are regularly adding it into their products. With an estimated worldwide market of $20 Billion by the year 2024, hemp farming seems to be a very profitable prospect for the Arizonian Farmers.

According to the experts, the farmers can expect to see a big boost in their profits with Hemp when compared to the other crops such as cotton and alfalfa, that are the most common among these farmers. Randy Pullen, an ex-republican state party chairman, claims that their profits could increase from $100 per acre to $600 an acre. This brings a 500% increase in the profits for the farmers.

Statistics and Response

Judging from the past trends, the farmers might not be so eager to jump into this business. If they do not find a stable market demand of a confirmed buyer, they might not risk growing hemp even with the juicy prospects before them. Even with them being so careful with their choice of crops, 200 applications from different growers and processors have been filed ever since the legislation has been passed in Friday, May 31st.

The state law, legalizing the production of hemp in Arizona, was supposed to reach fruition back in August 2018. But the process took a bit longer and the federal bill was passed back in December. The law finally saw the light of day back at 31st May; since then, 35 of the 200 applications have already been processed. According to the National Conference of State Legislature, more than 40 states have already been involved in establishing different hemp farming programs.

A 2017 statistics revealed that more than 175,000 acres of cotton have been planted in Arizona. However, these may see a risk of losing some production to hemp cultivation if the farmers really choose to grab this opportunity. Although this might reduce the production of cotton, it can definitely improve the farmer’s profits.

Conclusion

Despite the uncertainties, we still have prospective farmers willing to take up this opportunity and legally cultivate Hemp all across Arizona. This will benefit not only the restaurant and food businesses but also the medical community, with CBD’s restorative properties and giving the world a new direction in the fields of Gastronomy and Medicine.

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Fall of Cannabis Stocks: First FDA Hearing On CBD Sparks Debate

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FDA CBD Policy

As of Monday, cannabis stocks were mostly low, thanks to the reports from the first-ever hearing on CBD conducted by the U.S Food and Drug Administration. The hearing was conducted throughout Friday and involved researchers, advocates, manufacturers, health professionals, and opponents. The reports are pushing investors to rethink about making money through the CBD industry.  

With the 2018 Farm Bill officially legalizing hemp, there was a surge of CBD-based products sold in stores as well as online, but without any regulatory supervision. Popular opinion dictates that CBD has wellness properties, including pain, anxiety and inflammation treatment, but since CBD is considered a drug, instead of being included in the federal ban removal, it was placed under FDA’s regulatory substances. The reason being GW Pharma’s Epidiolex, a treatment for some forms of epilepsy, which contains CBD as the key ingredient, and is the only cannabis-infused drug that got FDA approval.

FDA and the Food Industry

The FDA added that CBD cannot be used in food, drinks or dietary supplements, but since the public opinion supports the use of CBD in wellness treatments, it will provide pathways that ensure CBD regulation. According to Evercore ISI analysts, the hearing showed how CBD products were used without clear evidence of benefits, standardization and safety profiles. The hearing also highlighted the instability of the cannabis industry. Although there were inconsistent claims made during the discussion, it was favorable for GW Pharma. The FDA mentioned that it wants the substance to undergo continuous clinical research. An analyst mentioned that now that CBD products are spreading like wildfire, it could become difficult for the FDA to regulate and monitor the CBD industry without adequate resources.

A speaker during the discussion pointed out that there is an increasingly strong demand for products containing CBD, as more than 65 million Americans have tried them, and 63% showed satisfaction with the results. Americans are more concerned about the pricing of these products than safety. Furthermore, the World Health Organization published a report that found CBD to be non-psychoactive and safe for use; however they did acknowledge the need for further research.

Other speakers in the hearing emphasized the importance of quality assurance and safety profiles, as products currently in the market may contain substandard or incorrect amounts of CBD as well as THC, it’s the intoxicating counterpart. These products may also contain harmful bacteria and pesticides. In the coming year, more clarity can be expected from the FDA according to the analysts.

Gov. J.B Pritzker actively worked for the legalization of adult recreational cannabis, allowing Illinois to become the 11th state to legalize cannabis. A bill was passed on Friday, which is expected to be signed by Pritzker soon. Sales may start sometime within January 2020. Analyst Aaron Grey from Alliance Global Partners said that the state achieved hemp legalization via legislative means, which may pave pathways for other states such as New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine, to not go through the ballot process. If Illinois sales go well, it could create a massive impact on the cannabis industry. According to Grey, sales could reach more than $2.9 billion within five years. This could push other states to create similar bills and achieve success like Illinois.

Conclusion

Analysts note that 29% of the population now lives in states where adult recreational cannabis is legal, while 70% of the population resides in states offering legal medical cannabis. The disparity between federal and state laws can be seen through these murky regulations placed upon cannabis products and has caused widespread arrests and raids, shocking the general public. Only time can tell whether the situation favors the cannabis industry

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