Nielsen375

As broadcasters continue to grapple with the legality of cannabis advertising over the airwaves, a new Nielsen report teases about just how large the enterprise is becoming. By 2025, the U.S. hemp-based CBD industry will have become what it terms “a $6 billion opportunity.”

“Consumers are finding CBD from hemp appealing for the natural benefits of the cannabinoid compound without tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound found in cannabis,” Nielsen says. And yet unlike those regions in the U.S. where marijuana is now legal, edible products containing CBD from hemp remain regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

All the same, the potential is there. The legal environment for selling edible products, including CBD from hemp, remains “murky and complex,” according to Nielsen, but many consumers and companies are taking a close look at the potential for this market.

Last week, the FDA began hearings examining the potential de-regulation of CBD from hemp within food products, which could open a new chapter for the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry—particularly for the snack and confectionery category. Nielsen predicts that, by 2025, the U.S. hemp-derived CBD market could be a $6 billion industry, when considering legalized sales of food and beverage products containing CBD from hemp.

“This suggests a sizeable opportunity for CPG snack and confectionery manufacturers within the CBD space,” Nielsen surmises. “Today’s shoppers are increasingly seeking out snacks with added health and wellness benefits. Lockstep with this smart snacking trend, some believe that adaptogens and botanical hemp extracts that naturally contain CBD could be the next frontier in snacking,” with the potential benefits of enhancing focus, aiding relaxation, assisting in promoting general health and wellness, feminine pain, digestive issues and sleep disorders.

But, of course, there are myriad state and federal regulations holding back any such potential progress, as well as supply issues, and retail/manufacturer and consumer sentiment and acceptance, Nielsen says. “Therefore, it is critical to recognize that the market size prediction is just a snapshot vision of what tomorrow could look like and is certainly subject to change based upon newer information.”