CBD-infused drinks may be coming to a coffee shop near you. That’s one of the big takeaways from a market report by the investment banking firm Cowen & Co.
Several news outlets are reporting that a January survey of adult Americans by Cowen found nearly 7% regularly use CBD products, and that the investment bank “conservatively” estimates the market for CBD products could reach $16 billion by 2025, when 10% of adults will be regularly using CBD.
To put CBD usage estimates into perspective, consider that 4.2% of adults told Cowen they use the popular Juul brand of e-cigarettes and 19.6% say they are regular tobacco users.
CBD usage is highest among Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, Cowen said in a report. CBD tinctures account for the largest share of the market, representing 44% of sales, followed by CBD topicals (26%), CBD capsules (22%) and CBD beverages (19%).
Perhaps the biggest revelation contained in Cowen’s report is this: should food and drink makers find ways to comply with existing regulations, coffee chains could start offering CBD-infused drinks. The report specifically mentions Starbucks as a possible purveyor of CBD coffees. However, Starbucks executives in television interviews following release of the Cowen report insisted CBD-infused lattes are not yet on the company’s product roadmap.
Not to worry though if you’re jonesing for a cup of joe with CBD: Willie Nelson has debuted a new line of CBD products that includes a CBD-infused whole bean coffee called Willie’s Remedy. An 8-ounce cup of coffee brewed with Willie’s Remedy contains 7 milligrams of CBD extracted from American-grown hemp plants, said Willie’s Reserve, the singer’s company.
Interest in hemp-derived CBD products began to percolate last year following passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which reclassified hemp as an agricultural products on par with corn and soybeans. Previously, hemp had been considered a Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act.
However, regulation of CBD food and drink remains in a state of flux. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it is planning a public hearing “in the near future” to help map out a regulatory structure for hemp-derived CBD foods and drinks. “We’re committed to pursuing an efficient regulatory framework for allowing product developers that meet the requirements under our authorities to lawfully market these types of products,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., said in a statement.
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