While CBD still faces legal hurdles to go mainstream, beverage giants, food companies and others have begun to take serious interest in the roughly $2 billion U.S. market. Tilray Inc. TLRY, -0.49% announced a partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev SA BUD, +0.04% this week to research marijuana-based beverages, and Constellation Brands Inc. STZ, +1.10% has invested heavily in pot producer Canopy Growth Corp. Other large companies, like Molson Coors Brewing Co. TAP, +0.63% , have invested in research, and Coca-Cola Co. KO, +0.37% and others have at least considered making a play for the space.
It is for this reason that all the finished hemp goods that you see for sale in America, from food products to clothing to building materials, are part of an imported hemp industry that has surpassed $688 million annually. The size of this import industry is one of the major catalysts for hemp legalization in the U.S. As a renewable source of a range of products, hemp provides an exciting new step in American agriculture.
What is clear, though, is the DEA’s classification of all cannabis extracts as Schedule 1 controlled substances. Even as more states “legalize it,” all forms of cannabis are still illegal under federal law. And that’s a problem for HempWorx distributors who have to move product. As the DEA spokeswoman told the Port City Daily news site in North Carolina, where marijuana is illegal but decriminalized: “The plant, for human consumption, is illegal, bottom line. If you ship it — then that’s interstate commerce, that’s trafficking, and so that’s a problem.”