Webinar Recap: Risks and Opportunities in the Hemp Cannabinoid Market

By William Sumner, Hemp Content Manager, New Frontier Data

Cannabinoids represent the fastest growing subsector of the industry.  According to Hemp Industry Daily, approximately 94% of cultivators last year grew hemp specifically for cannabinoid production. Though the price for raw CBD biomass has declined by more than 83% since 2015, the markets for CBD and minor cannabinoids still offer lucrative opportunities for enterprising operators.

What are the associated risks and opportunities? In Episode 1 of the Hemp Business Journal’s free Hemp Cannabinoid Webinar Series, New Frontier Data’s Chief Knowledge Officer John Kagia took a deep dive into the segment.

The event was made possible through sponsorship on behalf of Farmacy Health and Groff North America, a hemp-cannabis company focused on processing industrial hemp. Joining Kagia was Steve Groff, founder of Groff North America, and Jay Hartenbach, CEO of the CBD brand Medterra.

One of the looming questions facing the cannabinoid market is how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will regulate CBD. For some observers, the agency’s sluggish response implies a fundamental reluctance to regulate it.

According to Groff, the FDA is more than willing to act, but there is a standard level of due diligence required of it to maintain.

“The FDA is looking for a way to accept this,” said Groff. “From the science side, I understand what those folks are looking for, and the scientific data is not that they would typically expect, and that is the challenge for the CBD side.”

Looking forward, Groff also said that his company sees significant long-term value in the cannabinoid market, specifically when it comes to medical applications.

“We’ve tried to carve out a niche that plays our strengths from the medical side,” Groff explained. “We think that ultimately we need a lot more data. We’ve come at it with this approach where CBD is the entry point into cannabis exploration and other uses of cannabinoids.”

Sharing the optimism, Hartenbach believes that the CBD market specifically will start to see an increase in everyday consumers, and a greater demand for sophisticated CBD products.

According to Hartenbach, Medterra has already seen a shift occur. While tinctures make up the majority of Medterra’s sales, Hartenbach reported a decline from around 85% of all sales to 45% (or roughly a 47% decrease) of all sales. As tincture sales have dropped, however, sales of more relatively mainstream products like CBD capsules and gummies have steadily risen.

“I think you’re going to see as more and more mainstream consumers come into CBD,” he said, “that trend continue or potentially accelerate,” adding that The other thing we’re starting to see is that consumers are starting to demand a lot more than just CBD.”

To listen to Hartenbach and Groff’s full conversation about risks and opportunities in the cannabinoid market, click here. Episode 2 of the Hemp Cannabinoid Webinar series will examine innovations in the CBD food and beverage industry. It is slated for Wednesday, July 8, at 3 p.m. Eastern; click here to register for the free event.