Federal laws in the United States have long hurdled research for the medical world to draw up solid evidence in support of cannabidiol (CBD) oil’s therapeutic claims. Nevertheless, investors remain optimistic in some states’ recent moves to ease its policies surrounding the “miracle” product that’s been creating some buzz.
Susan Weiss, director of the Division of Extramural Research at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, explained that CBD, being a component of the marijuana plant, is still classified as Schedule I under existing laws which poses “many administrative burdens” toward progress in the research on the cannabis extract.
The expert on marijuana science and policy, who shared testimonials from her patients seeing improvement in their conditions after taking CBD, is referring to the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970, which provides that any substance categorized under Schedule I is considered to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
“We hear from the research community that they do struggle sometimes with getting a Schedule I license,” Weiss added.
The growing interest in CBD is also drawing attention to the legal status of hemp from which the substance is extracted.
Not identical with marijuana, hemp is another variety of cannabis sativa that does not possess the psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol—meaning it is responsible for making marijuana smokers high.
Although widely used mainly for industrial and commercial purposes like fabric manufacturing, hemp is still prohibited to be cultivated in farms at a federal level, as all cannabis varieties are defined as marijuana and considered to be Schedule I substances under the CSA.
Despite these legal hurdles still in place, the cannabis industry is expected to surge in the next few years. And it seems that recent efforts among some states to relax its policies on hemp cultivation are driving the bull market on cannabis.
According to the US National Conference of State Legislatures, about 38 states, along with Puerto Rico, considered industrial hemp-related legislation last year, filing bills that ranged from clarifying existing laws to establishing new licensing requirements and programs.
Of these, 15 states enacted legislation, while three authorized new research or pilot programs.
Betting on hemp
Equity firms, such as SeeThruEquity, LLC, are starting to place their bets on the plant, specifically on hemp-based cannabidiol. They are projecting it to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ~53 percent until 2020 and positioning it as “the fastest growing sub-segment within the multi-billion-dollar legal cannabis and hemp market,” the investment management firm said in a June 2017 report, citing the Hemp Business Journal.
One of the leaders emerging in the CBD business revolution is publicly-traded PotNetwork Holding, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN). The Florida-based firm acts as a holding company for its subsidiaries, First Capital Venture Co., which owns Diamond CBD through which PotNetwork sells CBD oil and products in over 10,000 retailers and legal in all 50 US states.
PotNetwork is famous for various brands such as flavored CBD Hemp Oils, Chill Gummies, Relax Gummies, Blue CBD Crystals Isolate, Liquid Gold vape liquid, Relax Extreme CBD collection, among others.
In a January 3 statement published on its website, PotNetwork said revenues spiked from $1.6 million for the entire four quarters of 2016 to about $1.6 million sales in October and November, separately.
Although corporate results are still under finalization, the firm said figures so far are showing sales to exceed by 50 percent of the firm’s initial target to surpass $8.4 million. PotNetwork ended 2017 with shares at $0.10 apiece, up from $0.01 per share at the start of its fiscal year.
For 2018, SeeThru sees PotNetwork’s sales momentum to continue, growing at $16.7 million, on the back of dominant representation at various trade shows and conventions coupled with publicity campaigns, a strategy expected to result in increased clientele, brand recognition, and more orders.
“We see POTN (PotNetwork) as a high risk and high reward play on the burgeoning legal cannabis and hemp industry, targeting the fastest growing sub-segment (hemp derived CBD),” added SeeThru.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
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