U.S. hemp food sales surged 44% to $129 million last year, according to a report from the U.S.-based Hemp Business Journal and Vote Hemp, a trade group. That sector marked the biggest year-on-year gain in 2016 when total sales were estimated to hit $688 million, the report indicated.
“Items like shelled seed, protein powder, soaps and lotions have continued to increase, complemented by successful hemp cultivation pilot programs in numerous states,” Hemp Business Journal said in a release. In all, sales of Hemp CBD products boosted the industry to a five year 22% CAGR, according to the report.
Seven markets studied
The analysis looked at the hemp markets across seven primary product categories of food, personal care, textiles, supplements, CBD, industrial applications and other consumer goods.
The growth of Hemp CBD – a category with $130 million in sales and growing at a 53% AGR – contributed significantly to the $688 million in total sales, according to the report, with the sector led by channel sales in natural and specialty products, smoke shops, and online verticals.
The report tagged CBD-based pet care products as a “growth category” for this year. SPINS, the leading market research firm for natural products, tracked $2,470,000 for products, with CBD listed as the primary ingredient in 2016. Retail sales leaders in the CBD Hemp category for 2016 included CV Sciences, Bluebird Botanicals, CW Hemp, Mary’s Nutritional, and Liberty Lotions, among others.
Pharma firms advance
Pharmaceutical companies continued progress to develop innovative cannabinoid based drugs. In the U.S., GW Pharmaceuticals has received Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for its CBD based drug, Epidiolex, in the treatment of LGS, Dravet syndrome, Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, and Infantile Spasms, each of which are severe infantile-onset, drug-resistant epilepsy syndromes. Sales of Epidiolex are slated to begin in 2018 or 2019, and are projected to reach $120 million by 2020, according to HBJ. The report said it expects total retail value of all hemp products sold in the U.S. to grow to $1.8 billion by 2020, led by hemp food, body care, and CBD-based products.