On Thursday, President Trump signed the 2018 farm bill, officially ushering in the era of legalized hemp and cannabidiol (CBD). Although both hemp and marijuana come from similar Cannabis plants, Medium reports only marijuana contains the high-inducing Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. While it lacks THC, hemp has several industrial applications while CBD has been touted to ease symptoms of several medical conditions, most notably seizures and anxiety, according to a report from Webmd.
“I think it’s really a game-changer,” said Fox Rothschild partner Joshua Horn, while speaking to CNBC. “The significance is now you have some aspect of the cannabis world legalized on a federal basis.”
Several major players in the food and beverage sector have long been eyeing an entry into the CBD-infused drink market. Recently, Budweiser beer’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced its plan to develop a non-alcoholic CBD drink in partnership with pot giant Tilray, according to a report from CBS. Coca Cola has also shown an interest in the market, reports Time.
Despite the enthusiasm surrounding the plant, how the market will develop is still unknown. According to a report from Market Watch, the federal relaxation of hemp laws may not be in total alignment with some states’ laws. Regulatory bodies, like the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration, will have significant sway on the plant’s commercialization.