There’s a cannabis revolution going on, and cannabidiol (CBD) is at the helm. For the past few years, cannabis has been gaining popularity, not as a recreational drug, but as a medicine. The 2018 Farm Bill began the revolution, classifying hemp with less than 0.3% THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) as hemp. THC is the compound responsible for cannabis’ psychoactive high.
Industrial hemp and all its extracts became fair game, legal to plant, market and sell. In the year since industrial hemp and all its extracts became legal, the market for CBD has grown to insane proportions, and it’s expected to hit at least $20 billion by 2016. However, one shadow dogs the industry.
Although cannabidiol is becoming famous for its medicinal benefits, there’s very little conclusive research to back it up. The only researched instance is of Epidiolex, a CBD derived drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat seizures in rare and hard to treat pediatric epilepsies.
Quite recently, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced that the department was in talks with Chinese researchers regarding hemp exports to China. The department’s Policy Coordinator Sunny Summers met with researchers from China’s Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences Institute of Industrial Crops to discuss hemp shipments from Oregon to China.
According to ODA, the state licensed more than 62,000 acres and more than 10 million indoor square feet for hemp cultivation. Over 19,000 farmers are licensed to grow, and this, more than triples the amount of people licensed last year.
There were fears that the exponential increase in supply would reduce prices, leaving farmers with smaller margins. Not to mention quite a number of growers went in without first lining up buyers.
Now, as long as Oregon farmers comply with the hemp regulations set forth by the FDA’s interim final rule, they’ll be able to switch from domestic sales to exports.
This isn’t good news for Oregon-based growers alone. Any other state with a surplus in supply doesn’t have to rely on the domestic market. Oregon’s relationship with China is a gateway, opening up the country to international hemp markets.
A large percentage of the demand for hemp is driven by cannabidiol. The hemp extract is a potent natural medicine, and people have been using it to help manage an almost unending list of conditions. They include chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and high blood pressure.
While most states have varying laws on the compound, one thing that stakeholders and regulatory authorities agree on is that a lot more research is needed into its efficacy and side effects.
Analysts say the announcement of the opening of hemp export markets in China will be welcomed by industry players like Green Hygienics Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: GRYN) and Sugarmade Inc. (OTCQB: SGMD) since any excess crops that can’t be used locally will be bought on the international market.
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