Mondelez International, the parent company of Oreo, Chips Ahoy and Nutter Butter is a food industry mammoth which is weighing out its options for entering into the world of CBD. The Oreo maker wishes to cash in on this latest trend by adding a brand-new flavour to its existing menu chart which is bound to make the game more entertaining in upcoming days. CEO Dirk Van de Put was recently quoted as saying that, “Yes, we’re getting ready, but we obviously want to stay within what is legal and play it the right way.”
What Is CBD
Cannabidiol or CBD is a chemical which is derived from marijuana and hemp. However, it contains low levels of THC compound which does not make you feel high after its consumption. CBD is also believed to bring along certain therapeutic benefits which has led to its worldwide popularity for curing inflammation, seizure, anxiety and insomnia.
Clash Of Farm Bill& FDA
The farm bill signed by President Donald Trump in December 2018 legalized the usage of products containing CBD. However, the Food and Drug Administration has stringently prohibited its addition in food or beverages. Van de Put was further quoted as saying that, “The space is not clear. It’s a bit clearer in non-food products. In food products, I’m hoping that the FDA will bring some clarity in the coming months.”
CBD- The Hottest Trend Of 2019
The massive popularity of CBD amongst people of all age groups have led brands to explore new options of benefitting out of the same. While everyone is trying to cure depression and similar problems which are slowly evolving into the reality of our mechanical world, CBD infused gastronomic wonders surely seem like a delightful solution to the same. Cannabis-infused foods and drinks has also been listed as the latest catchword by the annual report of National Restaurant Association. Maybe this is why more and more brands are trying to plan out their product lines around the same.
Uncertainty Of Future
Marijuana for sure holds the key to opening the floodgate for massive profits in days to come. But this is more of a catch-22 situation in reality. The food industry is more focused on the adverse impacts which THC – the active marijuana compound might have on the health of people consuming the same. They will continue to be wary about its usability unless proper research studies are conducted on the same.
Legalization Troubles Continue
The legalization of marijuana in different states also stand out as another big hurdle in the expansion plans of business houses. Although marijuana has been legalized in 34 states, 12 of them have imposed various restrictions on its possession and usage which has led to further chaos and confusion. A big gap is generating between the expectation of industries and the operation of government concerning this issue. If the gap keeps on growing, then it might be difficult for manufacturers to benefit out of this trend. Medicinal marijuana users will also be adversely impacted if things take a downturn.
What Happens Next
Although the Food and Drug Administration has not regulated cannabis-infused products in an official manner, it is planning to hold public hearings on the same in the coming month. A large number of start-ups as well as established manufacturers have taken the risk and launched their CBD infused beverages and edibles.
Maybe this is why market players like Mondelez are dealing with the matter in a careful way. Although the sumptuous snacks are most likely to hit the shelves in “not-so-far future,” you need to wait for some time before getting your hands on the same as the CBD chemical might not be in harmony with the family friendly brand image of the company.
CBD Crackdown Backed By the Attorney General
Leevin Camacho, Attorney General supports the recent crackdown on hemp-derived CBD products and has issued a statement regarding the issue. Since the 2018 Farm Bill passage, cannabidiol associated products have been on a rise in the market in various island stores across the nation.
The statement mentioned that the passage of the bill has given an impression that hemp has been legalized and that CBD containing products are decriminalized. Majority of the people believe that selling CBD is legal everywhere and anyone can do it. The Attorney General assures that “decriminalization does not mean there will not be any regulation.”
Guam Officials Question CBD Crackdown
The statement provided by the Attorney General was issued as a response to a letter delivered by the Guam Officials. Speaker Tina Muna Barnes and acting Gov. Josh Tenorio asked for a written statement on Monday from the Attorney General on his thoughts on the extent to which individuals and business can sell or import CBD products in Guam.
The letter was sent in response to local island businesses who issued complaints because their products containing CBD were seized by Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency officers. Director of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services Linda DeNorcey denied that her officials have rejected the release of products containing CBD because they “might contain THC and also because these products have not been screened by the U.S Food and Drug Administration.” DeNorcey stated that her department did not instruct CQA to confiscate any CBD containing products. Despite the Public Health department’s zero involvement, officials question the reasons behind CQA’s confiscation of these products.
CQA Director Tested Shipments
Ike Peredo, the Director of Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency mentioned to The Guam Daily Post that his officers did start testing some CBD products that arrived through air cargo shipments in February. These products were found to contain trace amounts of THC, the major component of the psychoactive marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law. Since THC is related to CBD, despite its non-psychoactive effects, CBD is classified as a drug. According to Camacho, the FDA can regulate these products containing CBD, most of which still require approval for interstate trade and commerce.
AG Concerned About Consumer Health
Camacho referred to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which observed that more than 70% of the products containing CBD which are usually bought online were not labeled properly. Thus, a consumer might as well be ingesting THC instead of CBD, which is still illegal. The AG said that his office is worried about consumer safety and that it’s his responsibility to ensure that the products contain the proper ingredients and are properly labeled.
By regulating these products, he wants to ensure that there is minimum harm done, and it may stop businesses from stating false claims about their products. The FDA had previously warned businesses about advertising CBD products as miracle cures to diseases such as cancers, anxiety, depression and other serious ailments.
Do Pet CBD Supplements Really Work?
The CBD Bandwagon has gathered such momentum that people are now even investing in CBD products for not only themselves but their pets as well. But how much of the presumed benefits of these products on their pets are legit? What should be the things that a pet-owner should be aware of? These are the questions asked by the Seattle Times with some collaboration with veterinary experts.
Pet CBD Products
With many of the CBD products available for people out there, there are CBD products available for dogs as well. Although the effectiveness of these products in animals is still in question, it’s definitely not doing anything to stop people from experimenting with their beloved animals with these products. While some of these products help the animals, others inadvertently lead to a waste of time and money in the best case scenario and cause harm to the animals in the worst (As seen in the experimentation with rats).
Obviously, the grey lines in its usefulness will bring about a lot of controversies from different organizations and individuals; especially when CBD is gaining such popularity at such a rapid pace. While the supporters of CBD can blow it off as “haters hating”, the opposition does take these skepticisms as weapons to fuel their beliefs.
Actual Data from the Proper Sources
With arguments from both sides, it’s actually very easy to get lost amongst the truths and differentiate the myths from the facts. So, like the Seattle Times, we believe that the best way to get rid of these confusions is to refer to actual sources of knowledge and the unbiased statements from the experts in the field.
One such source, is PetMD, a pet-focused version of WebMD. It details everything, with clear details on the benefits as well as the side-effects of these “medications” on pets. Going through this source does reveal some alarming information about these products. However, they do also do not deny some of the perceived benefits that these products can have on dogs.
What to Do?
So, if CBD infused treats and medications for your pets come with both benefits and side-effects, what to do? The answer is simple: Moderation. According to the Seattle Times, experts did not completely discount the use of these products, but rather advised its users to use them with caution. They should refer to their better judgment when purchasing their products from different companies and only use the products that have demonstrated effectiveness rather than just assumed or self-proclaimed ones.
Nowadays, it’s easy to find products for your pets in stores and online, Vet CBD is a notable example. But not all of the sources might be able to provide what they claim to deliver. Some of these products might just be a dud, with little to no effects on your pets. While others might even go as far as to harm your pets. Regardless of which, your pet product is, it’s always safe to administer these products to your pets in moderation and after careful consideration of the sources.
Payment and Compliance Companies Now Playing a Huge Role for CBD Products
Compliance issues among CBD products
CBD has faced a good amount of controversy surrounding its efficacy and abuse potential in the past. While it doesn’t give a high like marijuana or other THC-containing products, it’s been reported to help with pain and anxiety.
Nowadays, issues with payments and compliance are huge concerns in the cannabis industry, as well as other CBD-containing products. Among the issues are the exceeding amounts of CBD or THC in the products. For this issue, LegitScript comes into the rescue. They are an online service that verifies and monitors online pharmacies.
They have since launched a program that certifies websites selling CBD products that are legally compliant. As of today, USDA, FDA, and DEA- approved U.S. manufacturers and traders can apply for certification via LegitScript. Currently, the site provides a 10-page introduction regarding marijuana laws and regulations. It aims to help people understand the state restrictions and payment processes involving medical marijuana.
Having the LegitScript certification gives consumers and banks assurance that CBD merchants are compliant with state-specific laws, as well as regulations provided by various U.S. agencies. Even though cannabinoid or CBD-containing products have been made legal in the U.S., some products that contain THC in more than legal amounts are still illegal. This is why it has become difficult to pinpoint which merchants are selling compliant products.
CBD payments made easy
Even though the CBD industry has its regulation difficulties, major companies like Target and Walmart have been reported to be having discussions with CBD manufacturers. Many are also asking for lab and research results on top of CBD samples.
With this, the fact that the CBD industry is increasingly growing is undeniable anymore. Thus, digital payment companies such as Square, have gone into the CBD industry by providing access to basic financial services. This happened just when Elavon recently backed out from CBD companies.
A year after the legalization of CBD in the U.S., Square has stepped in to give businesses in the CBD industry a good financial service that makes it easier to process payments.
A growing industry
It’s been reported that over 7 percent of Americans are using products that contain CBD as of February. Cowen & Co. surveyed 2,500 adults and have found that the CBD market would be worth over $16 billion by 2025. Meanwhile, in a study by Vivien Azer, analyst, there are over 2.7% more people who use CBD more than e-cigarettes. Because of the rapidly growing industry, more people would definitely be in need of safer and more efficient payment options. In the future, more research will back up most of CBD’s health claims, thus attracting more attention from consumers. There will come a time that these certification programs will be a necessity amongst many consumers.
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