NEW ORLEANS— While hemp-infused oils, creams and tinctures have already hit retailers, ingestible cannabis—food and beverages—are far from doing so.
Despite holding a combined 12% of share in the cannabis industry, food and beverages will not become common retail items until the industry knows the time of onset and the duration of these products, said Vivien Azer, managing director and senior research analyst for Cowen & Co., New York, a market research and investment banking firm, during her presentation at the 2019 MJBizConNext conference in New Orleans.
At the event, held June 12-14, Azer said this especially applies to cannabidiol (CBD), the nonpsychoactive component of cannabis.
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to go to Congress and ask them to write permissible legislation,” she said. "For the time being, I don't see big [food and beverage] brands going into CBD."
This issue was a hot topic during the FDA’s May 31 public hearing regarding CBD-infused food and beverages. Since then, the FDA has created a working group to spearhead the questions surrounding cannabis and CBD in food and beverages.
Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care, New York, a patient-centered health and wellness company, concurred with Azer. CBD is still not an approved nutraceutical or supplement, despite the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the nationwide production of hemp, he said. Yet suppliers are still making these items and are putting themselves—and their customers—at risk.
“One of the biggest obstacles is that the industry jumps ahead and sells products that federal regulators are going to be looking for,” Vita said.
Beyond that, many states still view CBD as a controlled substance, causing confusion among manufacturers and consumers, he said.
“We need to step back and think about how to approach it all, since the state and government legislators counteract each other,” Vita said. “There are just too many different voices.”
Here’s a compilation of CBD stories from the month of June:
Marijuana conference sheds light on hurdles facing emerging category
Lifestyle entrepreneur starts new line of products
New legislation allows farmers to grow products that contain no more than 0.3% THC
Products found to have high levels of THC
Topical creams, lotions, balms and oils now available in 945 stores
The device, which resembles a scale, provides lab-accurate results in less than 10 seconds
Companies will provide retailers and CPG manufacturers insights on the cannabis marketplace
Partners with retailer group's network, which includes brands such as Circle K and Sunoco
Kentucky agency discovers package with cannabis compound