CBD, non-psychotropic cannabinoid derived from hemp, has been attracting renewed interest from consumers around the world for just over two years now. While the cannabis market is expanding in some countries towards legalization of this drug, CBD is making its way through and affecting many people looking for a natural product without the effects of THC.
Market development in European countries
In the United Kingdom, the CBD market has exploded in recent years, and in order to regulate the production and sale of products containing CBD, the government has chosen to consider CBD as a medical product requiring specific authorisations for production and sale. This decision is part of a plan to legalize cannabis for therapeutic purposes that has been in effect since 1 November 2018.
This development has started to attract investors. World High Life PLC (NEX: LIFE) is an investment company that plans to utilize the expertise of their executive team from Canada in the UK and European CBD and cannabis markets. The company has recently announced its intention to acquire Love Hemp, the UK’s leading CBD company in a transaction valued at 9 million GBP for all their shares. Love Hemp has over 40 SKU’s of CBD products including oils, sprays and vapes and a variety of edibles, CBD infused beverages, and cosmetics, which are available in over 1,200 UK high street stores and network stores such as Boots, Tesco, Superdrug, and Sainsbury’s.
With Love Hemp, World High Life is planning to enter the German market in 2020, and then expand even further to other European markets.
The vast majority of European countries do not have specific legislation concerning CBD, but generally consider that hemp can be used if the variety contains no psychotropic effects and remains below the 0.2% THC level. In Switzerland, the regulations are slightly different and allow hemp and its use as long as the plant does not contain more than 1% THC.
The CBD market in France
In France, since the end of 2017, there has been a renewed interest in CBD and hemp products. From that moment on, many shops flourished all over the country, offering “light cannabis”, i.e. hemp flowers containing no more than 0.2% THC. These specialized shops also offered products containing CBD as oils for consumption similar to food supplements.
Consumer interest in these new products remained high until a further increase in research in the summer of 2018, coinciding with the clarification of the CBD law. At that time, the news released information that hemp flowers and products containing THC available in stores, even if they contain less than 0.2%, are prohibited for sale.
What future for CBD?
Thanks to current regulations in Europe, CBD manufacturers and retailers are able to offer a wide range of products: e-liquids for electronic cigarettes, oils or skin creams.
It is expected that the European legislation regarding CBD and cannabis will become more admissive. Investment companies like World High Life PLC have already taken steps to explore the opportunities that current regulations give and take part in, what is expected to be, a market of 58 billion euro by 2029.