Specialty Food Magazine

Winter 2019

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1061591

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S pecialty food retailers seeking to break into the booming market for cannabidiol—better known as CBD—can be forgiven if they are a little dazed and confused. Products containing CBD and other compounds derived from the cannabis plant have been proliferating at retail outlets around the country, but a patchwork of state regulations and federal actions have created what some see as a gray area of legality surrounding the items. Hemp-derived products gain traction at retail as consumers seek anti-inflammatory benefits. BY MARK HAMSTRA The Buzz About Cannabis: What Buyers Should Know Among the cannabis compounds, called cannabinoids, is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive agent that gives marijuana users a "high." Products containing THC are illegal under federal law but have been legalized in a handful of states around the country for either medicinal or recreational use, or both. Such THC products are only available through licensed dispensaries. However, the dozens of other cannabinoids, which have been said to provide a range of health benefits, have been widely accepted to be fair game for sale by retailers— provided they are derived from industrial hemp plants, which are cannabis plants that have been bred to contain only trace amounts of THC. Several states have specifically legalized the sale of hemp-derived CBD products. Products containing CBD and other cannabinoids have been appearing on store shelves around the country in the form of oral supplements, topical applications, and in various edible forms that include chocolate, candies, and other snack foods, as well as coffee and tea. "The sky's the limit—almost anything you can infuse, you are seeing infusions of," says Rob Eder, founder of Firpo Productions, and a retail consultant specializing in cannabis products. 84 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com category education

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