Thanks to growing acceptance, including Canada’s October 2018 legalization, approval for medicinal and recreational usage across the U.S., and growing interest from corporate America, cannabis has become a booming business.
Now, there's potential for even more explosive growth after Congress approved an $867 billion farm bill with a vote of 386-47 in the House and 87-13 in the Senate. That bill is headed to President Donald Trump's desk for his signature.
While the bill does not legalize recreational or medicinal use of marijuana at the federal level, it will legalize hemp, officially taking if off the Schedule I list and allowing it to be "cultivated for any use," including the production an extraction of cannabidiol, or CBD.
Hemp will be classified as a regular agricultural crop, meaning that U.S. growers can cultivate it and sell it.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who pushed for the bill, tweeted, "At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling, industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture's future. My provision in the Farm Bill will not only legalize domestic hemp, but it will also allow state departments of agriculture to be responsible for its oversight."
Analysts believe it could create a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for the CBD market
The medical community is studying CBD for a variety of ailments -- pain, nausea, loss of appetite, Parkinson's disease, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis and even traumatic brain injuries -- the list goes on.
In addition, according to Men’s Health, “much of the push to legalize hemp comes from the fact that it contains cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound with a host of purported health benefits, and without the psychoactive effects of its chemical friend THC. The hemp industry could be worth an astonishing $20 billion by 2022, CNBC reported-and much of that worth will come from the CBD industry.”
"This opens the floodgates for this industry to grow very rapidly and scale on a national level," said Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group, as quoted by CNBC.
Consumers will begin to see a lot more hemp-derived products on store shelves soon.
Cigarette maker Altria just took a 45% stake in Cronos Group, seeking to diversify, as U.S. cigarette smoking falls to a historic low. Alcohol companies like Constellation Brands invested $4 billion in Canopy Growth.
These are good indicators that there is still plenty of room for cannabis opportunities.
One of the stocks already seeing momentum on the news is New Age Beverage (NBEV).
Over the last few days, shares of New Age Beverage (NBEV) ran from $4.50 to $ 6.50.
In response to the Senate's passage of the bill, New Age issued a statement saying that its CBD products, which include a CBD water, a CBD tea, and a CBD shot, are Farm Bill compliant. Even better, the company is prepared to roll out its CBD products nationally. The company also secured commitments from retailers and distributors at more than 125,000 distribution points, and expects distribution to begin as soon as January.
While The Cheap Investor is not recommending the stock at current prices, it – and other related marijuana stocks – are worth keeping an eye on with the latest farm bill news.
Stay tuned for more on this developing story at The Cheap Investor.