The new year is upon us, and I believe that 2019 will usher in significant developments for the cannabis industry. 2018 laid the foundation for a new level of efficiency and prosperity, despite federal obstacles. A growing number of Americans support legalization, robust growth has created more industry jobs, and two additional states approved recreational cannabis, bringing the current total to ten, including DC. With the newly-elected congress clearly supportive of changes to federal cannabis legislation, rescheduling, decriminalization or even full national legalization could be within reach.
The first major development for the new year began on December 20, 2018, when the President signed the farm bill into law, effectively legalizing all parts of the plant except THC. While this is a boon for hemp farmers, CBD manufacturing businesses will face increased scrutiny from the FDA, which requires that ingestible CBD products undergo the same comprehensive testing process as prescription drugs.
Despite that challenge, the overall outlook remains positive. This is a year for great performance from companies with good reputations, quality products and sound strategy.
The growing customer base will embrace the burgeoning trend towards low-dose, ready-to-consume edible, beverage and vape products. Expect cannabis research and technology to combine for more precise, targeted products aimed at both medicinal and adult-use markets. I predict that consumption will reach an all-time high (no pun intended). This year will bring continued expansion of the cannabis industry ushering in new customers, new products, new businesses and even greater revenues.
Are you interested in the industry? Make 2019 the year you join the green rush.