cbd industry blog

How Has the CBD Industry Changed?

The CBD industry has changed significantly in the past few decades—from prohibition to widespread legalization. In this article, we will explore exactly what has led to this change in the CBD industry and a tour of all the important milestones. Read on to find out more!

The CBD Industry’s Moving Parts 

The CBD industry involves many moving parts and has expanded to include countless businesses and individuals that keep it running. The CBD Industry has contributions from: 

  • Hemp Farmers: The humble hemp farmer is arguably the backbone of the CBD industry. 
  • CBD extractors: Extractors and manufacturers are responsible for extracting CBD from the hemp plant and processing it into various products, including CBD oil and tinctures
  • Retailers: Once CBD extractors have worked their magic, retailers are responsible for selling the product to the public. They often provide guidance and advice on which product best suits the individual. 
  • Medical Professionals: Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses play a crucial role in educating patients about the potential benefits and risks of CBD.
  • CBD Researchers: Scientists who specialize in CBD play an important role in the research and development of CBD products. They advise manufacturers on dosage requirements, safety profiles, and how the product may be used to help people.
  • Regulatory Bodies: Regulatory bodies monitor the safety and quality of CBD products. They have a role in ensuring compliance with labeling, production standards, and marketing claims, for example, to keep companies and consumers safe. 

The CBD Industry: A Timeline

1970: A Continuing Period of Prohibition 

In 1970, about the time when the War on Drugs started, the 1970 Controlled Substances Act was passed. This meant that cannabis was officially outlawed for any and all uses—whether that be recreational or medical. 

1991: A Shift in Law and the Opening of the First Cannabis Dispensaries 

San Francisco can claim the first cannabis dispensary. After the majority of voters expressed support for the use of medical cannabis, law changes enabled people who used medical cannabis under doctor’s supervision to avoid prosecution. 

This allowed for the opening of the notorious San  Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, which allowed the safe sale of cannabis to AIDS patients. 

1998: Legalization of Medical Cannabis in California 

In 1998, medical cannabis was legalized in California after the passing of the House Joint Resolution (no pun intended). 

2000s: Wide Spread Decriminalization 

Following a shift in public opinion and pressure from the public, many states began to decriminalize cannabis, including Seattle, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts, amongst others. 

2012: The Beginnings of a CBD Industry 

2012 marks the birth of the CBD industry. In November, Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of cannabis. They also allowed for the commercial growing and sale of cannabis. 

This marks the start of a shift in what will become the cannabis industry, with numerous other states following in their footsteps in upcoming years. 

2018 Farm Bill and a Change in Business Practises 

The 2018 Farm Bill, officially known as the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, marked an important shift in CBD business practices in the US. The bill brought about several key changes in the regulatory framework for hemp-derived CBD products.

How the 2018 Farm Bill impacted the CBD Industry: 

Legalization of Industrial Hemp:

The most notable change this piece of legislation brought about was the federal legalization of industrial hemp. The bill saw the removal of hemp from the list of controlled substances. This meant that growing and production of CBD now became legal. 

Research and Development: 

The Farm Bill also meant that funds were allocated for the research and development of hemp, including the study of CBD and its potential health benefits. 

FDA Oversight: 

The Farm Bill maintained the FDA’s authority to regulate products containing CBD, particularly those marketed with claims of medical uses. The FDA has the responsibility to determine the rules and regulations for CBD products, including dietary supplements and food additives. 

Quality and Testing Standards:

The passing of the Farm Bill meant that there had to be a bigger focus on quality, along with the implementation of testing standards in the CBD industry. This meant that businesses began to hire third-party testing to verify the content of their products and ensure they met safety and quality standards. 

Financial Opportunities:

With the legalization of hemp, banks were more willing and able to provide services to CBD businesses. This made it easy to start up businesses or expand existing CBD businesses and invest in their futures. 

CBD Industry Since 2018: New Opportunities and Regulations

Since the passing of the 2018 Farming Bill, the CBD industry has been steadily increasing. With steady increases in manufacturer revenue, plenty of businesses have been opening. 

The CBD industry has also entered the digital age, with numerous online retailers making the most of the opportunities that only business brings. It helps people access CBD products more easily than ever before. 

Due to the expansion and success of CBD businesses, the FDA has been increasingly monitoring CBD products. This has led to a crackdown on some companies that have made unsubstantiated health claims about their products. It has also led to a push for more standardized testing and labeling. While increased regulation can pose challenges for some businesses, it also provides an opportunity for those who can meet these standards to stand out in a growing market and build trust with consumers. 

The Bottom Line 

The CBD industry has come a long way since the probationary period in the 70s. The industry owes its success in part to some trailblazers, including California and San Francisco, who first challenged cannabis’ legal status. Since then, the 2018 Farm Bill saw some of the biggest shifts take place. The Bill allowed for hemp to be commercially grown and for CBD to be sold to the general public. Since this bill has passed, the CBD industry has been booming, showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.


**Standard Disclaimer: CBD is not FDA-approved. We make no such claims that using our products will guarantee relief. Moreover, research regarding CBD is still ongoing and in the early stages.**