Gold Spectrum, a hemp company based in Tennessee, is the most recent company to introduce a new line of edibles called Delta 8+ THC-O Cereal Bars, widening the rift between the hemp and marijuana industries. Since the 2018 farm bill’s passage, delta-8 THC has gained widespread acceptance as a marijuana substitute in states where it is illegal, including Tennessee.
THC-O is a relatively recent discovery; it is a synthetic cannabinoid produced through chemical synthesis that packs an intoxicating punch. It is also not covered by the farm bill such as naturally occurring cannabinoids derived from hemp.
However, a growing number of states, including Utah, Connecticut and Virginia, have taken action to ban intoxicating cannabinoids derived from hemp, such as THC-O and other THC isomers, including delta-10 and delta-6 THC.
The standoff draws attention to the numerous new cannabinoids that have been released onto the market and the difficulties in regulating access to them. Additionally, it emphasizes the gulf and escalating hostility between licensed marijuana businesses and the widely unregulated hemp industry, where businesses are peddling intoxicating goods containing an expanding variety of synthetic cannabinoids derived from hemp.
On one end, manufacturers and sellers of cannabinoids derived from hemp contend that the farm bill protects their goods and entitles them to unrestricted sale in states with no such laws. On the other hand, the scientific community, consumer watchdogs and regulated marijuana businesses are raising concerns about the safety of synthetic cannabinoids and the confusion they are causing in the market.
Federal authorities have mostly shied away from the matter. In January, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would not regulate CBD-containing products, deferring instead to Congress, where partisan gridlock has prevented cannabis reform from moving forward to date.
Brightfield Group, a Chicago-based marijuana analytics company, predicts that sales of cannabinoid products will surpass $2.3 billion in 2023 and could double by 2027. However, the forecast failed to account for current state policy limitations or the uncertainty surrounding the potential scope of the proposed changes to the farm bill.
Some policy experts and industry insiders believe that the extensive legislation — renewal of the 2018 farm bill — may help to clear the air regarding new cannabinoids, concentration levels and restrictions. It’s interesting to note that over the past few years, fewer people are buying CBD goods online, while sales at vape and smoke shops have significantly increased, possibly as a result of the increased number of CBD stores in small towns, big cities and everywhere in between.
According to Brightfield, 17.5% of consumers bought CBD goods online in the last quarter of 2022, a decrease from 50.6% during the corresponding period in 2020. In contrast, 33.4% of consumers made purchases at smoke and vape shops in that same period, an increase from 19.1% in 2020.
Away from the feud between recreational marijuana and the hemp industry, there is a growing number of companies such as India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) that are working to see cannabis-based formulations approved by the FDA and other regulatory agencies overseeing the health sector in different countries.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to India Globalization Capital Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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