It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. So goes the progression of Cannabis in the United States in 2019. As prohibition ends state by state, and more access is granted to the Cannabis plant, we are now seeing an industry with unprecedented growth and opportunity, which most Cannabis fans would see as great news. However, with great opportunity, comes large and powerful business interests that want to take advantage.
Suddenly, politicians and law enforcement who a short time ago were locking people up for possession of Cannabis, are now becoming lobbyists, security consultants, or principals in new Cannabis ventures. They are using political connectedness to get a leg up in a lucrative industry, not for any sense of idealism, but for the sheer greed for money.
Pharmaceutical companies are trying desperately to patent forms of THC and CBD to capitalize and hold on to precious market share. Public Cannabis companies in Canada, now federally legal, are suddenly investing in biotech companies to genetically engineer THC and CBD products. While it is obviously naive to think that business won't go after opportunity, I certainly cannot think of another industry that has caused such a 180 degree shift in the "morality" of so many players.
As cannabis shifts into two very distinct markets of CBD and THC, the one truth that holds is that greed is taking over both. The CBD market alone should grow this year from about $500 million to several billion dollars. Estimates vary widely, but with far less risk aversion than THC, and far more banking and investment options, CBD is poised to perhaps surpass the THC market in the next few years.
Supermarket chains are opening to the idea of stocking CBD products, and before long they will be on the shelves at Costco, Walmart, and for sale on Amazon. Having seen what CBD can do for people over the past 4 years, we are very aware of it's potential. We have had thousands of customers using CBD for anxiety, pain, opiate withdrawal, sleep problems, epilepsy, diabetes, using CBD MS, and many, many more reasons.
The feedback we get has been staggering. While we do get some people who say it doesn't work for them, the majority of our customers swear by it, and we see them month after month and hear incredible stories about how CBD helped them. It is for this reason that we feel so obligated to educate our customers on the different products on the market. In the last year, extremely cheap CBD isolate products have become available on the wholesale market. A simple look on Alibaba will lead you to hundreds of CBD oil and isolate manufacturers from China with little to no oversight into the process.
It is imperative that people know the difference in the quality of their CBD products. At the Hempest, we have been providing the Boston market with CBD for over 4 years. In that time, we have taken the time to vet all of our suppliers thoroughly and make sure we are dealing with CBD from Hemp grown and tested in the USA. We want to be sure that people are getting the best CBD they can. It has been extremely disheartening to watch some business, looking to cash in on what they see as a trend, invade this market place. We have seen numerous smoke shops, and CBD franchise shops open up and start selling inferior products to an unknowing clientele. We have also been inundated with new CBD companies trying to sell us products, many untested, and most likely made from the cheap imported isolates that nobody knows the origin of.
Fortunately, the news is not all bad in the cannabis industry and we still are very optimistic for its future. Despite the inundation from companies trying to make a quick buck, we are also seeing a lot of legitimate companies entering the marketplace.
The legality of Hemp in many states has sparked a number of farmers into action. Many are using organic farming methods to grow prize Cannabis plants with low amounts of THC. Hemp is being treated as green gold, and being hand trimmed, cured and sold as high quality smokeable flower. Breeders are tirelessly working on new strains that offer the perfect ratio of Cannabinoids to help different people with their different ailments. Master extractors are developing new, healthier, efficient ways to extract Cannabinoids from the Hemp plant. Cost are coming down and access is going up.
That is why we will continue to push for education about Cannabis products. We cannot stress enough how important it is to look at the back story of the company you are supporting. Do your research when you buy cannabis products. Support those who share your beliefs, and those who share your philosophies. Support those who believe in healthy practices rather than slick marketing based companies trying to get rich quick. Support all that is right with the Cannabis industry and call out and avoid all that is wrong with it. In the end, it is your dollars that will make all the difference.