By: Sara Warden
2 min read January 2020 — The value of the CBD (cannabidiol) market is expected to surpass $20 billion globally by 2024 and Florida is taking steps to ensure it is well-positioned to take advantage of the market. But opening up a new industry to commercialization comes with teething problems and Palm Beach legislators may struggle to keep up.
“We’re witnessing CBD maturing from a cannabis sub-category into a full-blown industry of its own,” said Roy Bingham, Co-Founder and CEO of BDS Analytics in a press release. “Our growth forecast for the CBD market, across all distribution channels, predicts a compound annual growth rate of 49 percent by 2024. This is a great opportunity for all involved, but it means the road ahead will include decisions that need to be informed by the best possible data.”
After CBD edibles were legalized in Canada in October 2019, companies selling these products are struggling to keep ahead of demand. But in Florida, it is legislators who are feeling the strain of regulating this new industry. Amendment 2 legalized CBD use for medical purposes in the state and the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-based CBD products federally. But Florida state legislation previously did not differentiate between marijuana (which contains THC) and hemp (which contains mostly CBD), meaning CBD products are simultaneously legal and illegal in Florida.
But on July 1, 2019, a new law took effect that allowed authorities to regulate CBD and hemp use. “Prior to these rules being adopted and taking effect, we didn’t have regulatory authority,” cannabis director at Florida’s Department of Agriculture Holly Bell told The News Service. “Now we do, and we have that up and going so that we can make sure consumers are protected.”
As a result, Palm Beach’s CBD industry is picking up speed. As part of the regulation, companies selling CBD products must apply for a permit that costs $650 per year. There already are a number of companies in Palm Beach County, including Curaleaf, Earth Florida, Nutrition World and Trulieve.
Zach Bader, co-founder of the USA CBD Expo held the conference in Miami Beach in May last year and told the Miami Herald that the South Florida market is brimming with potential. “There is a really high concentration of retail stores here that are either selling the product or are very interested in learning more,” he said. “We are seeing this industry start to percolate. A year ago, it wasn’t where it is today.”
Bader applauded the efforts of state authorities to regulate the industry. “Whether you’re in the CBD industry or manufacturing Cheerios, you can’t go out there and make health claims without clinical trials. That’s a standard,” he said.
The Department of Agriculture headed by Nikki Fried is providing workshops to try to eliminate the uncertainty and harness a promising industry for the state. “Having that opportunity and allowing entrepreneurs to do what they do and start the research aspects is my vision for the state of Florida,” she said at the first workshop in Broward County.
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