Upward Trend Continues for CBD in the U.K.
It’s really quite surprising how many countries around the world have used cannabis and hemp for centuries, yet it still remains widely illegal. Numerous nations across countless centuries depended on hemp as one of the most important and economically viable cash crops. For years people used hemp as a universal plant in a wide range of daily aspects. And almost overnight, it was wiped clean from our landscapes.
Hemp was one of the first founding cash crops brought over to America by the Europeans. Even the first colonial settlers were required to grow a certain amount of hemp in order to ship back to the Royal Navy. Hemp was used for rope, clothing, and thread during those days, among other everyday uses. Even our nation’s first president, amongst several other founding fathers, was a notorious advocate for growing and cultivating hemp in the united States. Even during World War I, hemp was utilized as a much-needed crop to help produce necessary supplies overseas. Then came the “Reefer Madness” stigmatization that told parents to warn their children about the “Devil’s lettuce,” which further resulted in the Marihuana Tax Act. This essentially made the possession of hemp and cannabis illegal, except for industrial uses and for a nominal fee. But even that didn’t last long, giving way to new, more severe laws all thanks to the Controlled Substances Act of Richard Nixon’s 1970s War on Drugs. This effectively removed hemp from American society, both recreationally and industrially. Flash forward some 50 years, and hemp is finally making its way back onto the social scene, slowly but surely. America could take a page out of the notebook from our brothers across the big pond when it comes to pushing forward new cannabidiol legislation.
Coming hot on the heels of new CBD classification just over a year ago, the United Kingdom has already seen a healthy return from its new legislation. While America continues to clump CBD in the same Schedule 1 Narcotic classification as heroin — meaning it has shown no medicinal properties and is highly addictive — the U.K. has rapidly progressed forward to classify CBD as accepted medicine, allowing people to take it legally and with little to no hassle. It seems surprisingly fitting that the United States’ former monolithic ruler, for whom America forcible grew and cultivated hemp, would beat us to the CBD punch. While Americans are stuck jumping through countless hoops, British citizens are able to get their CBD at the corner drugstore. Relax and take notes, Washington.
One U.K. retailer, Holland and Barrett, stocked their shelves immediately following the passing of legislation and have been able to reap the rewards quite quickly. The retailer details a sales increase of over 37% since making CBD products readily available to all citizens. According to the Cannabis Trades Association UK, the number of CBD users had doubled in the past year, up from 125,000 in 2016 to 250,000 in 2017 and it’s only continuing to trend upward. It’s no surprise that CBD sales have skyrocketed over the past year since so many more customers now have easy access to the healing properties of hemp. Several expert publications believe that the hemp industry will total some $2.1 billion by the year 2022. There aren’t many industries that have been able to gain so much popularity in so little time, while also becoming one of the most burgeoning industries in the world today.
Even casual customers have the chance to try CBD in more ways than just one. The edible trend has quickly gained footing in the cannabis industry, and CBD is no different. Following last years legislation, several british establishments such as cafes, bakeries, and even breweries, have begun experimenting with different types of CBD-infused goodies and drinks. But with none of the THC-induced high, customers are able to enjoy CBD treats regularly without the standard stigmatization. For most first-time eaters or drinkers, that fear of experiencing the high and possibly getting “too stoned” is an off-putting side effect of any cannabis form. But, those that are interested in its holistic benefits can now opt for CBD treats that provide all the healing and absolutely none of the high. One cafe owner, Louise Fitzsimmons, explained, “We are part of the Cannabis Trade Association, so everything we do is completely legal and above board.” Much like the industry as a whole, Fitzsimmons is looking to have their restaurant and menu offerings “go green” in more ways than just cannabis-infused drinks and desserts. It’s safe to say that most of the pro-pot public has an infatuation, or at least admiration, for the environment and want to minimize their environmental footprint. Utilizing hemp-based products can go a long way towards helping to improve the quality of the environment while also helping sustain ecological life. Cannabis and CBD won’t just make you feel good, you’ll do good, too.
Bakeries and cafes aren’t the only places looking to cash in on the historic hemp cash crop. The british meal-replacement staple, beer, is the latest consumer good to find itself being infused with CBD. The Stockton Brewing Company out of Durham, England has taken on the task of brewing Britain’s favorite beverage, but with a bit of CBD mixed in for an added note of relaxation. By breaking into one of the economies strongest industries, CBD as a whole is looking to make its presence known, and drunk, by a wider range of curious customers.
While CBD remains illegal in other parts of the European Union, U.K. companies are clearly noticing the impressive returns and beginning to jumping on board in hopes of also cashing in on the crop. Although Holland and Barrett currently only offer one option for CBD products, as compared to the numerous options available stateside, there are opportunities for the cannabis curious to try CBD in a wide range of different forms. And as more and more industries start dipping their hand in the CBD honey pot, more people will have the opportunity to give CBD a try in various facets. With such large profits in such a short timeframe, CBD is quickly proving that it’s not just a fad but an economic staple that is here to plant its roots and continue to grow.
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