Global legal cannabis sales grew 45.7 percent during 2019 to $14.9 billion per the “2020 Update to The State of Legal Cannabis Markets” from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics. In the U.S., the industry grew to $12.2 billion. In light of these robust figures, Arcview has updated its forecast to predict that global cannabis sales will hit $42.7 billion by 2024.

A primary catalyst in ongoing industry growth hinges on FDA and how it will tackle regulating cannabis-derived ingredients. We’re pleased the federal fiscal year 2021 budget for FDA includes $4 million earmarked for cannabis-related work.

As noted in the draft budget: “New funding will enable FDA to better regulate the usage of cannabis-derived substances, such as cannabidiol (CBD), in FDA-regulated products such as dietary supplements and when used as unapproved food additives. The initiative will support regulatory activities, including developing policies and continue to perform its existing regulatory responsibilities including review of product applications, inspections, enforcement, and targeted research.” We’re hopeful FDA will quickly provide a clear pathway for cannabis ingredient usage in foods and beverages so the industry can rapidly advance with consumer safety and science-based research steering the ship.

As the industry grows, companies involved in cannabis food and beverage product development will need to track category activity to factor into strategies for R&D, distribution, category penetration, etc. On my other food and beverage publications, we’ve maintained longstanding partnerships with market research leader IRI to present category data analytics. Now IRI is partnering with BDS Analytics to present a fully integrated data analysis tool for to track retail sales at medicinal and recreational state dispensaries across the U.S., as well as at traditional retail channels.

This data will regularly appear as an anchor in our Cannabis Products content, and we have included some fresh data from IRI and BDS Analytics related to CBD beverage category sales in this month’s beverage product development feature.

We’ll also hear from IRI and BDS Analytics at our inaugural Cannabis Products Exchange “CPX20” event taking place April 21–22 in Denver. Other speakers on tap include top edibles producers like Wana Brands and Coda Signature, as well as visionary entrepreneur Eric Schnell, who recently launched the hemp-infused tea brand mood33—plus a full roster of industry leaders who will dig into ingredients, equipment, packaging, and food safety, as well as regulatory and legal concerns.

CPX20 is the only cannabis industry event squarely focused on product development and will provide a unique, intimate setting for strategic collaboration to drive this energizing industry forward. I hope to see you there.

For more information on CPX20, visit To register, click here.

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