Total U.S. cannabidiol (CBD) product sales 2014-2022
It is expected that U.S. consumer sales of cannabidiol (CBD) will reach around 1.8 billion U.S. dollars by 2022, which would represent a significant increase from around half a billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Following a similar trajectory, sales of legal cannabis in the U.S. are projected to hit 23 billion U.S. dollars in 2025.
What are the benefits of CBD?
Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis. However, CBD does not cause any of the psychoactive effects that come from another active ingredient found in the plant: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The health benefits of the plant extract continue to be examined, and the World Health Organization states that CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential. The CBD retail industry is already flourishing, with a wide range of products marketed as treatments for chronic pain, anxiety, and depression.
CBD in the USA: sales by state
With estimated sales of around 730 million U.S. dollars, California had the biggest CBD market in the United States in 2019. Regulations concerning the use of cannabidiols are yet to be clearly defined, and state authorities are having to answer numerous questions about its legality. It is, however, currently illegal under U.S. law to market CBD by adding it to a food or labeling it as a dietary supplement. As of March 2020, the FDA has approved only one CBD product: Epidiolex. The prescription drug is used to treat two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
The Future Of The CBD Industry In 2022 And Beyond
Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Mike Sill is the CEO & Co-Founder of Sunday Scaries, a CBD company with stress relief products.
Every industry has its challenges and opportunities, but I believe the CBD industry is in a unique — and pivotal — position. As a substance that was federally illegal before the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp-derived cannabinoids with no more than 0.3% THC still face a regulatory grey area. This ambiguity creates a host of novel challenges in financing, marketing and producing products. But simultaneously, the industry and market are growing incredibly fast.
CBD companies are tasked with seizing this opportunity while navigating the significant hurdles. As a founder and owner, here is my take on the crucial developing issues in my industry, along with predictions about what will happen.
1. CBD has become big business, and it’s set to get much bigger and more diverse.
CBD sales in the U.S. hit $4.6 billion in 2020, a massive number just two years after hemp-derived cannabinoids were federally legalized. This growth is only expected to accelerate, with two notable forecasts projecting a U.S. market of $15 billion to more than $20 billion by 2025 and 2024, respectively.
CBD companies currently offer a pretty wide range of products. Nevertheless, this diversity will increase as more companies introduce products that hyper-concentrate on each of the over 100 minor cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. Formulations focusing on cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and other compounds and mixes will be developed for specific use cases.
Best Tax Software Of 2022
Best Tax Software For The Self-Employed Of 2022
Income Tax Calculator: Estimate Your Taxes
2. Regulatory challenges remain, and it will take Congress to clarify things.
Despite being federally legal, I’ve observed that CBD companies still have problems obtaining capital and standard services from banks and other financial services institutions. And the ability to market CBD as a safe and effective substance is limited by how the FDA classifies it.
Ultimately, the U.S. Congress has the authority to address these issues, and there is current legislation aiming to do just that, such as the Safe Banking Act of 2021, the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2021 and the Hemp Access and Consumer Safety Act. Crucially, those last two pieces of legislation would pave the way for the FDA to authorize marketing CBD as a dietary supplement. This development will open up many forbidden or restricted marketing and distribution channels, leading to greater sales and brand exposure.
In addition, more precise federal regulation of product quality will be a rising tide that lifts most boats, as bad players drop off in survival-of-the-fittest fashion.
3. Big-box retail access will spur sales while stabilizing and improving supply chains.
Once companies can market CBD as a dietary supplement, it’s my opinion that it will hit the mainstream of brick-and-mortar retail. In particular, big-box chains will offer a range of topicals and ingestibles in various product categories and applications.
This new distribution could vastly grow the market while benefiting various supply chain components, including hemp farmers and labs that conduct the extraction, distillation, crystallization and isolation of CBD from plants. A particular benefit will be incentivizing more quality labs to get in the CBD game, as many facilities now hesitate to stray from their core competencies. The price of raw materials will also drastically increase as retail demand grows.
4. More big names will get into the game through acquisitions.
Huge companies have been hesitant to embrace CBD as its initially “Wild West” market goes through growing pains. But once the regulatory landscape clears and stabilizes, I believe many corporate giants will look to diversify their product lines with CBD and add brand-new products that open avenues of growth. Companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Unilever and more may get into the game, and they’ll do it through acquisitions of existing CBD market leaders.
5. Education, quality assurance and safety will skyrocket.
An all-time high in public education about cannabinoids will accompany the mainstreaming of CBD. Through this, consumers will be able to feel more confident and safer while purchasing products that are smartly regulated.
Many CBD companies, which now mainly self-regulate, will be forced to improve their quality assurance and compliance efforts to survive. And the providers who already sell high-caliber products will finally reap the rewards of their investments in R&D and production that have necessarily reduced ROI.
The future of CBD is bright, but it still hinges on crucial developments.
In some ways, the CBD industry is an unstoppable juggernaut. It’s already a multi-billion-dollar sector that will only get bigger, as millions of consumers have made their preferences clear. But CBD companies still have to navigate many unique hurdles, from obtaining capital to using standard payment processing to being able to market on regular channels.
The crucial developments that will remove these barriers are the FDA classifying CBD as a dietary supplement, the industry’s unrestricted access to financial services and an intelligent regulatory framework that increases product quality and safety across the board.
As the owner of a CBD company, I am in wait-and-see mode like many of my colleagues. We simply steer through these challenges to grow our companies. But I believe that lawmakers will solidify the status of CBD soon, removing barriers to innovation, safety and, ultimately, the normalization of the industry. When that happens, even more growth — exponential growth — is on the horizon.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?