The Popularity of Cannabis in the Food Industry

Cannabis has long been a hot topic in within society. Once the main focal point in the 1980’s “War on Drugs,” cannabis today has become accepted by a large majority of Americans. Everyone from the young, wild and free party-goers to the elderly, retired and home with aches and pains, can be found indulging in the popular plant. But what does this mean for the food industry? Is the industry ready to capitalize on the production and sales of edibles, cannabis that is consumed through eating or drinking?

According to an A.T. Kearney survey of 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Canadians, forty-one percent of U.S. consumers said they would try recreational cannabis in foods such as candy, chocolate snacks and packaged foods if/ when it becomes legal. With such a large interest in cannabis by consumers, more food and beverage companies are positioning themselves to be a part of this trend.

Coca-Cola may have the chance to make cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana plants, infused drinks in America sooner than you think. If The Farm Bill passes, it would remove hemp (which CBD is derived from) from the list of controlled substances, making the plant legal under federal law. The Farm Bill will be voted upon in Congress, ideally, within the next few weeks. Over the last year Constellation Brands, the marketer of Corona and Modelo Especial, has invested roughly $4 billion to purchase a 38% stake in Canopy Growth, the world’s largest publicly traded cannabis company.

As cannabis becomes more and more mainstream, you can expect more companies to jump on the bandwagon. Some respected and established brands, especially those that make candies, chocolates and brownies, are reluctantly to get into the cannabis industry. Children are one of their primary target markets and they do not want to tarnish their hard-earned reputation.

We are not too far off from the time that companies will be willing to jump in and form partnerships with other companies as more and more states legalize the use of cannabis. The revenue potential will become too much to ignore!