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Chart of the Day / U.S. Senate Farm Bill: What it Means for Hemp Investors

U.S. Senate Farm Bill: What it Means for Hemp Investors

December 13, 2018

The marijuana story is growing… well, like a weed.

Thanks to growing acceptance, including Canada’s October 2018 legalization, approval for medicinal and recreational usage across the U.S., and growing interest from corporate America.

The market could reach $146.4 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, from just $7.06 billion in 2016.

It’s just starting to disrupt countless, multi-billion-dollar industries.

The medical community is studying it for a variety of ailments — pain, nausea, loss of appetite, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis and even traumatic brain injuries – the list goes on.

Cigarette maker Altria (NYSE:MO) just took a 45% stake in Cronos Group, as it seeks to diversity its business, as cigarette smoking falls to its lowest point in history.  Alcohol companies like Constellation Brands invested $4 billion in Canopy Growth.

These are good indicators that there is still plenty of room for cannabis opportunities.

Now, there’s potential for further growth and disruption after Congress voted for an $867 billion farm bill with a vote of 386-47 in the House. The Senate approved it with a vote of 87-13.

It’ll now head to President Donald Trump’s desk.

One of the things it’ll do is legalize hemp, officially taking if off the Schedule I list and allow it to be “cultivated for any use,” including the production an extraction of cannabidiol, or CBD. Hemp will now be classified as a regular agricultural crop, meaning that U.S. growers can cultivate it and selling.

Consumers will also begin to see a lot more hemp-derived products on store shelves soon, too.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who pushed for the bill, tweeted, “At a time when farm income is down and growers are struggling, industrial hemp is a bright spot of agriculture’s future. My provision in the Farm Bill will not only legalize domestic hemp, but it will also allow state departments of agriculture to be responsible for its oversight.”

Analysts believe passage could create a multi-billion-dollar opportunity.

“This open the floodgates for this industry to grow very rapidly and scale on a national level,” said Bethany Gomez, director of research for Brightfield Group, as quoted by CNBC.

“Hemp Industry Daily projects the hemp-derived CBD retail market will reach between $2.5 billion and $3.1 billion by 2022, which assumes growth in retail penetration but a scenario of no major change in current federal policies concerning hemp,” as also noted by CNBC.

New Age Beverage: An Early Winner of the Bill

Over the last few days, shares of New Age Beverage (NBEV) ran from $4.50 to $ 6.50.

And it could be a long-standing winner on the farm bill, which legalizes a lower-THC form of cannabis that can be used to make CBD products.

In response to the Senate’s passage of the bill, New Age issued a statement saying that its CBD products, which include a CBD water, a CBD tea, and a CBD shot, are Farm Bill compliant.  Even better, the company is prepared to roll out its CBD products nationally.  The company also secured commitments from retailers and distributors at more than 125,000 distribution points, and expects distribution to begin as soon as January.