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CBD Popularity Soars in the U.S. as Regulations Loosen

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Following the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill in late 2018, CBD-based products have rapidly spread throughout the country. Notably, the U.S. Farm Bill authorized the sale and transportation of CBD products throughout the nation. As a result, consumers can easily find CBD products such as patches, topicals, and tinctures at local convenience stores, pharmacies, and even e-commerce platforms. Even major international retailers such as Amazon and Walmart began to list CBD products on their sites after the U.S. delisted CBD from its status as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. To note, CBD is only legal if the THC content within the product is less than 0.3%, which is insufficient to cause psychoactive effects. Prior to the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill, the overall hemp market was split amongst several categories. The hemp-CBD segment was still the largest, controlling approximately 23% of the hemp industry. However, the personal care segment trailed shortly behind the hemp CBD market, accounting for 22% of the market share. Moreover, the food and industrial application segments accounted for 17% and 18% of the total market share, respectively. Although the market share remained relatively split across various segments, the hemp CBD market is projected to accelerate at a much more rapid rate compared to the rest of the hemp market. Furthermore, by 2022, the U.S.-based hemp CBD market is projected to deliver USD 646 Million in sales, representing a 240% growth compared to 2017. And overall, the hemp industry is positioned for further exponential growth, largely due to the legalization of CBD. According to data compiled by Hemp Business Journal, a division of New Frontier Data, the total sales for the U.S. hemp industry totaled USD 820 Million in 2017. The research suggests that the industry is expected to grow to USD 1.9 Billion by 2022 and at a CAGR of 14.4% during the 5-year period.

With the rise of the digital age, e-commerce platforms have dominated the retail industry. The aggressiveness of e-commerce has even caused many brick-and-mortar stores to struggle to retain their customer base. E-commerce platforms are hugely popular because customers can simply order any product they need from almost anywhere. However, all e-commerce platforms require an advanced payment system to enhance the customer experience, but it is these systems that also allow businesses to better manage their funds. Prior to the passage of the U.S. Farm Bill, many cannabis-based businesses had to manage physical cash piles because financial service providers refused to deal with cannabis business due to the legality of cannabis. Following its passage, many financial providers have since decided to enter into the rapidly growing cannabis space because of the CBD market segment's promise. Now, the cannabis industry is growing into an entity that requires innovative technological advancements in order to thrive among other global industries, as it still remains in its infancy stage. Nonetheless, the cannabis industry has already proven its credentials as a rapidly growing global market. "Cannabis is still a new industry that's just getting out of the shadows, so people see there's huge potential to develop all sorts of new technologies," said Meghan Larson, Co-Founder of Adistry.

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