Cannabis Impact On Food & Beverage

Author:Mr Christopher Grieco

Cannabis Products Are Coming to the Grocery and Health Store

According to independent market research firm Euromonitor International, the global cannabis market is $150 billion today and legal sales are expected to grow to represent 77% of the total global market by 2025. Cannabis is one of the hottest topics in the food and beverage industry and many believe it will be one of the major trends in 2019.

What is Cannabis?

The two most well-known cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD is used as a medical ingredient in a range of products, from foods to cosmetics. THC is a psychoactive ingredient and is restricted to medical use only or banned outright. Since CBD is non-psychoactive and thus legal, it is the current functional ingredient of choice. Some of the potential applications of CBD include anti-anxiety relief, pain-relief, anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic.

Cannabis regulation is currently divided into medical and recreational or "adult" use. Medically, cannabis can only be used legally through a prescription or by registering as a medical patient.

Recreational use allows cannabis products containing THC to be sold freely through licensed, taxed outlets. Recreational marijuana is now legal in Canada and in 10 US states. Medical marijuana is legal in 33 US states, which is often a pre-cursor to recreational legislation.

President Trump signed the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 into law in December 2018, which, along with extending, expanding and modifying federal agriculture and nutrition programs, also made changes to hemp production laws. The law alters certain federal authorities relating to the production and marketing of hemp, including removing hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, meaning it will no longer be an illegal substance under federal law. However, the FDA retained the authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

Today's Cannabis Market

Alcohol companies are getting into the cannabis market. As of the end of 2018, the volume of U.S. beer sales have declined for five years straight. As sales drop, beer producers are experimenting with lower-alcohol and non-alcoholic beer offerings. Some major players such as Constellation Brands, Molson Coors Brewing and AB InBev have pushed the envelope even further and invested in CBD and THC-infused nonalcoholic beverages. According to...

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