Governor of Vermont Expects To Sign Weed Legalization Bill By Monday

Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott is getting ready to sign a bill to legalize recreational greenery in his state.

Last week, lawmakers in the state of Vermont passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. They did this entirely through state legislature, making history by becoming the first state to pass such a bill without a vote from the state’s residents. And now, a week later, the governor of Vermont expects to sign weed legalization bill by Monday.

The State of Weed in the State of Vermont

Believe it or not, it has only been but a mere two weeks since President Trump’s right-hand man Attorney General Jeff Sessions made “good” on his threats to crack down on states with legal cannabis. Those two weeks ago, Sessions rescinded a little Obama-era piece of legislation called the Cole Memo. Basically, the Cole Memo was put in place to prevent the federal government from interfering in state’s rights. Specifically, those regarding the decriminalization or full-out legalization of cannabis.

Since then, states and lawmakers have been rallying to fight this rescission. As it turns out, members of both major political parties were sufficiently angry with Sessions over this decision. In Vermont, state lawmakers took almost immediate direct action. Last week, the Green Mountain State’s Senate passed a bill to legalize recreational cannabis. Timing aside, this social and political maneuver was particularly gutsy because it required each member of the legislation to take a definitive stance on the matter. Votes like this are public record, so the lawmakers involved were well aware of the political risks involved.

Another reason this vote was so risky is that the governor of Vermont, Phil Scott, vetoed a legalization bill this past May. He cited the need for more research and clearer wording on the bill as the reason behind his veto. He also made it known that he would be willing to revisit the matter.

And now he has the chance to do just that.

Final Hit: Governor of Vermont Expects To Sign Weed Legalization Bill By Monday

According to sources, the governor of Vermont expects to sign weed legalization bill by Monday. Or perhaps even before Monday. He has, reportedly, enlisted the help of a lawyer to go over the bill and make sure the language and specifications of the new potential law are of a high enough standard that he can sign it with a clear conscious. The specifications of the bill include maximum possession allowance of both flower and plants. If Governor Scott signs the bill into law, Vermont citizens will be permitted to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and six plants. Of those plants, two may be mature, and the grower may possess an additional four immature plants. No word yet on retailing recreational cannabis in the state of Vermont. But if the bill is signed, amendments regarding that are sure to come.

Another point to sweeten the pot? If the governor feels satisfied and signs, the new law will go into effect the first day of July. So, if all goes according to the state Senate’s plan, Vermont’s residents could have legal, recreational weed by summertime.

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Former Mexican President Vicente Fox On Why Prohibition Is A Failure

High Times recently had the fortune, privilege and honor of interviewing Mexico’s former President Vicente Fox, a man whose ideas stand close to libertarianism. The state, the government, should not intervene in people’s lives unless their decisions affect third parties, he’s argued quite often.

Discussing cannabis legalization and the business opportunities that follow, Mr. Fox mentioned he actually supported the legalization of all drugs, not just cannabis. We were hooked: not often do we get to hear the former president of one of the world’s top 15 economies, of a G-20 country, defend the legalization of mushrooms, cocaine and LSD.

His argument is based on two basic premises:

  1. Keeping drugs illegal has generated nothing but violence. “We’ve seen so much violence, hundreds of thousands of young people die in the hands of drug-related violence over the last decade… It makes no sense,” Mr. Fox pointed out during our chat. “Drug lords have taken control of the markets, trafficking and the transit of drugs to the United States, and this has complicated things everywhere.”
  2. The illegality of drugs goes against the concept of individual liberty. “I am an intense believer in freedom. I think all prohibitions should disappear off the face of the earth – except for those limiting anything that affects a third party,” he explained.

“Prohibition doesn’t work and has never worked,” Mr. Fox argued, bringing up the example of Adam and Eve who, he thinks, might have never taken a bite off the Forbidden Apple if God had explained why it was bad for them instead of straight out banning them from eating it.

“We need to transform prohibition into regulation,” he said. Consumers need to have the freedom to decide what they want. But, before this can happen, we need education, access to information and time for people to digest this new information, to get comfortable with this new paradigm where the people take care of themselves and one another, instead of relying on the state to do that, he argued.

“We need to stop thinking that the government will protect our children and families from drugs. That has never happened. Only educating at home we’ll be able to create consciousness around the fact that what’s important is moderation, rather than prohibition,” he supplemented.

Legalize It All

Drug legalization will create a legitimate business community and put it in hands of honest entrepreneurs instead of criminals like we see today, Mr. Fox voiced. “In fact, legalization will help us create opportunities for many people who have been turned into criminals by this unjust system; people are not born criminals, they are pushed toward crime by the lack of opportunity.”

“But, as we re-legalize drugs, we will create a lot of new jobs that can help us keep young people away from crime,” he went on. “Legalization will create jobs for engineers, retailers, farmers, processing professionals, manufacturers… All of the formerly marginalized people will find opportunity and well-paying jobs.”

Mexico And The Opioid Crisis

The high demand for opioids in the U.S. has created in a war between cartels in Mexico. Many drug lords want to be the ones supplying poppy to opioids producers, Mr. Fox explained. “And this is intrinsically related to the fact that poppy is grown illegally,” he noted.

“So, instead of having people kill each other, why not produce poppy legally in Mexico and export it, legally, to the U.S.?” he suggested.

“Of course opioids are bad when they are used incorrectly. But opioids are also very useful and necessary to treat certain ailments.” So, we need to differentiate these two types of uses and have our laws reflect this difference, he concluded, calling for a comprehensive drug legalization plan for the U.S., Mexico, and ultimately the whole world.


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Every quarter we update the Leafly List in an effort to answer a question we hear all the time: “Can you recommend a great dispensary near me?” The list is a snapshot of the most talked-about medical cannabis dispensaries and retail locations in 10 major cannabis markets across North America. The top locations are determined using an indexing system that ranks locations across a variety of customer engagement metrics like reviews of each location’s quality, service, and atmosphere.

Click on your state or province below to find the most relevant Leafly List for you. Remember, if you don’t see your favorite dispensary on the list, make sure you follow, rate, and review your favorite cannabis locations to let the world know where you find your favorite cannabis.

More on the Leafly List

The Leafly List index score is a proprietary statistic created by Leafly to measure the performance of medical cannabis dispensaries and retail cannabis locations across Leafly’s digital platform. It is designed to be a comparative metric that offers context as to which locations are generating the most positive buzz and pushing the cannabis industry forward through exceptional service and digital engagement. Check out the Leafly List FAQ for more information on how dispensaries are ranked.

The Leafly List is based on 100% objective customer feedback and data collected by Leafly. Businesses CANNOT pay for a spot on the list.

The Leafly List is by no means a comprehensive list of your options when it comes to cannabis access points. You can use Leafly’s Find Nearby tool to see the complete list of dispensaries or recreational stores in your area. The Leafly List is designed to let you know which locations are being reviewed, followed, and have their Leafly menus visited the most, and it also provides other web-based engagement factors. Simply put, these are the places that the Leafly community is talking about, so if you don’t see your favorite location listed, make sure you follow, rate, and review your local dispensary to let others know it’s the best.

Lead image by Mordolff/iStock

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Mike Tyson launches luxury marijuana resort in California, as state’s Green Rush finds celebrity backers

Controversial boxing champ Mike Tyson has broken ground on a 40-acre marijuana growing operation and luxury resort close to Edwards Air Force Base, celebrity blog The Blast reports.

The Tyson Ranch will have half of its acreage devoted to cultivating marijuana and the other half developed into a high-end retreat with “glamping” cabins, an edible factory and an amphitheater. Tyson, who is backing the project with business partners including California City Mayor Jennifer Wood and two entrepreneurs, Robert Hickman and Jay Strommen, also reportedly plans to create a Tyson Cultivation School at the site.

“Tthe company that operates the ranch, Tyson Holistic, is comprised mainly of veterans, and says taking care of men and women who have served in the armed forces is a top priority,” The Blast reports. “The ranch is located near Edwards Air Force Base and aims at creating lots of jobs, as well as connect with and give back to the community. The mayor describes the business venture as a ‘rebirth’ for the entire city.”

You can read more about the property, and see schematics of what it will look like, here.

In California, high hopes for ‘green rush’ with advent of legal pot

LOS ANGELES: At the stroke of midnight on January 1, pot lovers in California may raise a joint, instead of a glass of champagne.

America’s wealthiest state is legalizing the growth, sale and consumption of recreational marijuana, opening the door to the world’s biggest market.

With authorities looking to cash in via heavy taxes, the stakes are high—and the Golden State’s so-called “green rush” will be watched closely.

Arcview, a firm that studies the global cannabis market, estimates that it will be worth $22.6 billion in 2021, up from $6.7 billion in 2016.

Cannabis is displayed at the Higher Path medical marijuana dispensary in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, December 27, 2017. AFP PHOTO

In California alone, the industry will be worth $5.8 billion in 2021, with almost three quarters of that from recreational use.

But 2018’s transition will not be automatic—or simple.

Although eight other states and the capital Washington have already legalized recreational marijuana use, none compare to the sheer size of California.

“The first year, two years are going to be a mess,” as cities determine their own regulations and supply and demand is established, predicts Arcview CEO Troy Dayton.

California already pioneered the legalization of medicinal cannabis in 1996, and approved the current law in 2016.

But the substance is still considered illegal under federal law, and the administration of President Donald Trump has been hostile on the issue.

Thriving black market?

According to the new law in California, anyone older than 21 can get up to 28.5 grams (one ounce) of cannabis without a prescription and grow up to six plants per residence.

It cannot be consumed in public places or while driving—nor can it be used within 1,000 feet (about 300 meters) of a school or other place for children.

The production, distribution and sale of marijuana also requires municipal and state permits.

Cities such as San Francisco, San Diego and San Jose have wasted no time, already issuing licenses to several dispensaries that can start selling recreational marijuana on Monday.

But in Los Angeles, there is a wait.

Seller Jerred Kiloh, who runs a thriving medical dispensary, will not be able to join the New Year’s party as authorities will only begin to accept applications on January 3.

Cat Packer, chief of Los Angeles’ cannabis regulation department, said the process “is not going to happen overnight.”

On one December afternoon, Kiloh’s dispensary is full.

Leaving the shop, a man says “I love your store”—which has a distinctive smell and products ranging from cannabis flowers to creams, cakes and candies.

Kiloh, who has been in the industry for a decade, says his biggest concern is that while he is closed awaiting a license, hundreds of other shops will be operating without one— offering attractive prices and drawing customers away.

Dispensaries can be seen on every corner, but it is hard to know which ones are legal.

Kiloh—who is also an economist and president of plant-based therapeutics corporation United Cannabis—claims “about 80 percent of the industry that operates in Los Angeles right now operates without a permit and without paying taxes.”

He also estimates only 135 shops operate above board.

According to Arcview, the illegal market generated $5.1 billion in 2016.

‘Crazy fluctuation’

Authorities in Los Angeles have said they are working on a plan to combat illicit drug trading.

For example, the police have the power to cut off electricity and water at illegal vendors.

Other more conservative cities will simply prohibit sales.

Meanwhile, some projections estimate that costs could hike up to 70 percent—due to state tax set at 15 percent, 10 percent sales tax, and municipal taxes of up to 10 percent on top of that—as well as license requirements and required technology such as trackers for each plant.

“You could see some crazy fluctuation in price over the first year or two,” said Dayton.

Marijuana for medical use should become cheaper and available for purchase in more quantities.

Kiloh estimates that to meet current demand, “you’d probably have to have 10,000 licenses available right now” in California.

In neighboring Nevada in July, when recreational marijuana went on sale, emergency measures had to be implemented to allow distributors to meet the astronomical demand. AFP


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California’s green rush is on as state legalizes recreational marijuana sales

The new year brought with it a big change in California – the legalization of recreational marijuana. Adults, 21 and over, are now allowed to buy cannabis products at licensed dispensaries without a medical card.

CGTN’s May Lee has more.

The celebrations have begun across the state of California as recreational use of marijuana is now officially legal. Customers stood in long lines at licensed dispensaries to be the first to buy cannabis products openly.

“It’s a historic moment” said one shopper. “We were in line for an hour and a half, and I think it’s great that I’m able to come in and do this today. It is a great day.”

At Alternative Herbal Health Services, also known as AhhsWeho, in West Hollywood, business has been brisk. Dina Browner, one of AhhsWeho’s founding partners, is a pioneer in the world of cannabis, having led the way when it was thought of as nothing but an illicit drug.

Browner recalls, “We started here 15 years ago, and I actually started the first, opening the very first doctor’s office that specialized in medical cannabis recommendations in Los Angeles.”

So well-known is Browner’s dispensary that it’s the role model for the Netflix comedy series “Disjointed”. For real-life AhhsWeho customers, the legalization of marijuana gives them, not only more freedom, but also serious relief.

Robert Hughes is a combat veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2005 to 2009 said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He added, “I think it should have been something available a long time ago especially for troops that are coming back that are suffering from mental illnesses.”

There are, however, concerns that the legalization of marijuana will boost a black market because the price of legal cannabis is now higher due to taxes and other costs. Another concern- Will there be legal clashes among federal, state and city jurisdictions that have differing marijuana laws?

Twilla Frosco, a tourist from Oklahoma, isn’t sure what’s in store when she tries to return home with her cannabis, but she said, “I’m going to figure it out.”

Though there are still many unknowns when it comes to the marijuana laws here in California, there’s one thing that isn’t really being questioned and that is the potential size of the market. It’s predicted to grow to about seven billion dollars in a few years. That’s much bigger than the entire market was in the U.S. in 2016.

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Big labour sees growth potential in California’s marijuana fields

Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labour’s lagging membership – if infighting doesn’t get in the way.

The United Farm Workers, co-founded by iconic labour leader Cesar Chavez, says organizing an industry rooted in agriculture is a natural fit and growers could label their products with the union’s logo as a marketing strategy.

“If you’re a cannabis worker, the UFW wants to talk with you,” national vice-president Armando Elenes said.

But United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery-store employees, meat packers and retail workers, registered its intent to organize cannabis workers across the country.

“We would hope they respect our jurisdiction,” UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro said.

Teamsters organizer Kristin Heidelbach said there’s no need for unions to battle each other. There will be plenty of workers needing representation as small cannabis businesses run by “happy stoner” types give way to large pharmaceutical corporations, she said.

The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labour history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it. As could resistance from cannabis-business leaders.

“Are they going to be new-age and cool with it,” Mr. Zonderman said, “or, like other business people, say, ‘Heck, no. We’re going to fight them tooth and nail?'” Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.

Cannabis in California already is a $22-billion (U.S.) industry, including medical marijuana and a black market that accounts for most of that total, according to University of California, Davis, agriculture economist Philip Martin. Medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, when California was the first state to approve such a law.

Labour leaders estimate recreational pot in California could employ at least 100,000 workers from the north coast to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Joaquin Valley, harvesting and trimming the plants, extracting ingredients to put in liquids and edibles and driving it to stores and front doors.

Other pot workers have organized in other states, but California should be especially friendly territory for unions, said Jamie Schau, a senior analyst with Brightfield Group, which does marketing analysis on the marijuana industry.

The state has one of the country’s highest minimum wages and the largest number of unionized workers across industries. Its laws also tend to favour employees.

At least some workers say they’re open to unions.

“I’m always down to listen to what could be a good deal for me and my family,” said Thomas Grier, 44, standing behind the counter at Canna Can Help Inc., a dispensary in the Central Valley community of Goshen.

The dispensary – with $7-million in yearly sales – sells medical marijuana.

Called a “bud tender,” Mr. Grier recently waited on a steady flow of regular customers walking through the door to pick out their favourite strain.

So far, no unions have contacted him, he said. Mr. Grier gets along with his boss and said he doesn’t want to pay union dues for help ironing out workplace disputes. But he hasn’t discounted the possibility of joining.

After recently entering the marijuana industry, Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez said one sticky traffic stop three months ago converted him into a “hard core” Teamster. He’d never been in a union until this year.

Mr. Rodriguez said an officer pulled him over delivering a legal shipment of pot and detained him for 12 hours as he was accused of following too closely behind a truck.

A union lawyer stepped in, and Mr. Rodriguez said he was released without being arrested or given a ticket.

“Most companies can’t or are unwilling to do that,” he said, “because employees are easily replaced.”

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Top 3 Reasons Women Consume Cannabis

Ever wonder what the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis were? Luckily, a cannabis lifestyle brand has the answers you want.

A recent survey reveals the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis. This in-depth study of women and cannabis use comes from the female-focused cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop. Their goal was to learn more about the demographic they aspire to serve to the highest standard. Here’s what else the survey found.

The Survey

While medical marijuana programs, and to a lesser extent legalized recreational weed, are spreading throughout the United States, our neighbors to the north gear up for a nation-wide lift on cannabis prohibition. It seems that both countries are moving toward a happier, greener future. But we can’t make any meaningful changes without data!

The Seattle-based cannabis lifestyle brand, Van der Pop, primarily serves female clientele. To better understand the needs and concerns of their client base, they conducted a survey. The survey attracted a grand total of 1,530 women in the United States and Canada. They found that the top 3 reasons women consume cannabis are to manage pain and symptoms of various illnesses, alleviate stressand just to relax. To put it into numbers, 27 percent of women use weed for pain relief, 17 percent use it to relax and 31 percent use it to combat stress and anxiety.

Other Results

Despite the spreading legalization and acceptance of cannabis, an overwhelming 70 percent of women who consume cannabis think that there is a negative stigma attached to the herb. Furthermore, 66 percent of women surveyed reported hiding their usage at one point or another.

But stigma or not, North American women of all walks of life embrace cannabis. The survey also had a section for mothers who consume weed. 38 percent of Mary Jane-lovin’ moms even said that it made them “more patient and playful” with their kids. Furthermore, 46 percent of mothers reported that they would rather their children choose cannabis over alcohol. And the majority of mothers (89 percent!) surveyed talk to their kids about responsible cannabis use.

Van der Pop

Van der Pop calls itself “The Cannabis Digest For Discerning Women”. Located in Seattle, it was founded by April Pride with the goal of serving women who are both novices and veterans in the world of cannabis.

“It’s time to put the image of the under-achieving stoner to rest and have a frank conversation about where cannabis fits in the modern woman’s life,” Pride says.

Van der Pop’s website hosts an advice column, weekly newsletter and features about women in the legal cannabis industry. It even has an online store where you can buy accessories like grinder cards, vaporizers, and elegant containers. They also even sell hemp seed oil-infused skin care products!

Final Hit: Top 3 Reasons Women Consume Cannabis

We’re glad we have more data about women and cannabis use. But we also can’t help but lament the fact that so many women are still feeling the effects of the antiquated stigma attached to cannabis consumption. While the “stoner stigma” negatively affects everyone, it seems that women feel a sharper impact. This may be due to a combination of a lack of reliable information about cannabis and old-fashioned sexism. To combat this, it’s imperative that more women who consume cannabis speak up about their usage. An open dialogue about cannabis use could very possibly reduce and eventually eliminate the stigma attached to it.

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Medical Marijuana Reverses Tobacco Caused Ischemia

I don’t think I am making a controversial statement here by saying that weed is probably safer than tobacco. Sure, we are still producing minor carcinogens when combusting cannabis—but without all of the gross additives in cigarettes.

Aside from the big one (cancer), smoking cigarettes can cause a whole plethora of other problems, one being Thromboangiitis obliterans (TO), a disease that displays itself as the clotting of capillary blood vessels in the arteries/veins of our digits (fingers and toes) from inflammation of surrounding tissue. A case study out of Israel found that extensive use of cannabis reversed the effects of TO.

Before we get into the nuts and bolts of how cannabis may be doing this, let’s quickly go over some of the medical terms we will be seeing. Though the patient exhibited signs of Buerger disease (another name for TO), it was found because of what is called ischemia.

Ischemia is essentially the dying of tissue (skin/muscle)  due to lack of nutrients (i.e. glucose, oxygen, etc.) from poor blood circulation. This lack of blood flow was caused by the clotting from T.O. The disease is a direct result of tobacco use, whether it is smoking or chewing. While the mechanism by which tobacco produces these symptoms is unknown, the only people who have Buerger’s disease smoke tobacco. Interestingly, it appears as though men have a greater likelihood of acquiring Buerger’s disease, though this could be attributed to a higher rate of tobacco usage with men.

OK, let’s now get into the story. How did the doctor know to prescribe cannabis, especially when this relationship between medical marijuana and TO had never before been looked at before? The truth of the matter is that the doctor did not initially prescribe pot.The patient, who we will refer to as Bob, was a heavy smoker, nearly 2.5 packs of cigarettes per day. Bob came into the hospital with severe pain in his foot; he had a massive infection and ischemia due to T.O. It had progressed so bad that Dr. Robinson recommended an amputation below the knee. Bob refused and opted to self-medicate with marijuana, twice daily. After the first six months, his pain had reduced, and it continued to reduce for the next two and a half years. During this time, he also cut back on his cigarette smoking.

With the first six months down, Dr. Robinson was able to prescribe Bob medical cannabis in the form of what is called MCT (medical cannabis treatment), and Bob’s MCT dosage steadily increased over the course of a few years. After three years of MCT, and antibiotics for the initial infection, Bob’s ischemia had almost completely reversed—leaving minimal scarring.

Dr. Robinson attributed the cannabis’ action to the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD, gradually returning blood flow to the ischemic limbs. He did note, however, that this is a case study, and no statistical significance can be attributed to cannabis’ effects on ischemic-reversal until further research is done. Until then, I think this is a beautiful study further showing the potential for cannabis in modern medicine and society!

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Hemp-Based Wellness Goes Mainstre

Want to know why hemp CBD has earned strong sales growth in the natural health and wellness sector? These five big reasons explain it…

Hemp is hot – and it’s soaring popularity impacts multiple retail markets. No longer associated with Cheech and Chong or excessive use of the word ‘dude,’ hemp-based products earned $170 million in sales last year, according to market research firm Brightfield Group.1

The U.S. is the largest consumer market for hemp products worldwide, and the market for hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) is on track to reach an astonishing $1 billion by 2020, representing a 55% compound annual growth rate.23

CBD made from hemp contains less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient associated with marijuana. Often called hemp oil, hemp CBD is now sold in most states and online, making it more accessible than marijuana-derived CBD.4

Hemp CBD market overview
Understandably, demand for hemp CBD products is strongest in states where marijuana is difficult to buy, mostly in the Midwest.5 In terms of distribution channels, Brightfield reports 65% of sales come through e-commerce websites, followed by smoke shops (18%) and dispensaries (9%), as well as health stores and doctor’s offices.

The top five online brands are CW Hemp, PlusCBD Oil, HempMeds (RHSO), Elixinol and CannazALL.6 Among CBD Hemp makers, only three are publicly traded companies with sales of $100,000 or more: CV Sciences, Medical Marijuana, and Laguna Blends.7 This means small and medium players across the U.S. are fueling the market’s massive growth.

5 reasons hemp CBD is so hot
Want to know why hemp CBD has earned strong sales growth in the natural health and wellness sector? These five big reasons explain it:

  1. Versatility
    Hemp products are available in the form of balms, capsules, and drops across diverse product categories such as nutritional supplements, skin care products, beverages, foods, recreational and medicinal uses.8Hemp seeds can be pressed and made into hemp oil to make such items as cleaning products, body care products, building materials, health food, textiles, and plastics.9 Supermarkets have increased their offerings of plant-based milks, including hemp varieties.10
  2. Therapeutic value
    Consumers increasingly turn to hemp CBD products help to solve common health care conditions. For instance, hemp CBD items are used to improve skin health, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote weight loss, digestion and joint pain relief, among other health conditions.11 Among the food and beverage categories, hemp seeds are considered the most nutritious seeds in the world, used for thousands of years as an edible source of fiber.12
  3. Millennial demand
    Boston Consulting Group found 10% of Millennials are cause-driven, environmentally-minded consumers who love hemp-based, recycled, eco-friendly products.13 This generation also greatly values health and wellness. Millennials particularly crave healthy, fresh, on-the-go foods that are convenient – including prepared hemp seed salads. As such, hemp is being marketed to Millennials as a nutrient-rich superfood, as it is high in omega 3 and antioxidants.14
  4. Mainstream appeal
    Several retail giants sell hemp CBD products, adding to the booming industry. Hemp-based clothing and other textiles are readily accessible through companies like Patagonia and REI, plus smaller offers multiple lines of CBD products. However, rather than sell CBD products directly, Walmart uses their website as a third-party seller, meaning the retail giant assumes no legal liability. Amazon is also a third-party provider of CBD products.16Although hemp products are legal, certain retailers distance themselves from these items to mitigate risk to their brand and avoid liability. For instance, although Target advertised four hemp supplement products on their website, the company promptly removed them following media attention.17 While sales of cannabis-derived products could be allowed under certain state-based marijuana programs, selling such products across state lines is illegal. That said, Target sells other hemp-derived food and beauty products, including hemp-seed hearts and hemp-based milk, soaps and shampoos.18
  5. Legislative changes
    While hemp CBD is legal as long as it’s under 0.3% THC content, Americans also demonstrate changing attitudes toward the legalization of recreational marijuana in California and Nevada, which contributes to hemp CBD’s popularity. To date, 31 states have passed legislation that allows hemp farming in line with the 2014 Farm Bill.19 Currently, only 15 states allow CBD, in addition to the 28 states plus Washington DC, which have legalized medical marijuana, Forbes reports.20

Hemp CBD is emerging as a powerful retail trend, impacting grocery, pharmacy, apparel and health and beauty, among other categories. To gain a competitive advantage, retailers and suppliers can educate consumers by emphasizing the wide range of health, wellness and therapeutic applications hemp CBD products offer. Retail companies must also stay up-to-date with evolving political, competitive and consumer trends to stand out and sell in this thriving market.

1, 9, 11, 12. Hemp Seeds Aren’t Just for Hipsters Anymore and Are Going Mainstream. Be Healthy. July 19, 2017.
2, 19. The Growth of the Hemp CBD Markets. Business Insider. May 2, 2017.
3, 4, 5, 6, 7. Borchardt, Debra. Hemp Cannabis Product Sales Projected To Hit $1 Billion In 3 Years. Forbes. August 23, 2017.
8. Consumer Demand and Wave of Innovation in CBD Cannabis Market Exploding. Business Insider. July 25, 2017.
10. Clark, Melissa. Vegan Ice Cream Enters a Golden Age. The New York Times. July 21, 2017.
13. Van Petten, Vanessa. he 6 Gen Y Spending Types: Which One Are You? LearnVest. July 10, 2012.
14. Rivero, Tanya Rivero. Wall Street Journal. The Hemp Craze Comes to Salads. July 10, 2015.
15. Pot’s parent plant produces all sorts of benefits. The Spokesman-Review. September 28, 2017.
16, 17. Thompson, Chris. Target Pulls CBD Products After Offering Them Online. Freedom Leaf. September 29, 2017.
18. Wallace, Alicia. Update: CBD oil hits national stage with — briefly. The Cannabist. September 28, 2017.
20. CBD and Hemp Sales Projected to Remain Strong. The New York Times. October 4, 2017.