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Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a psychoactive drug obtained from the genus of a flowering plant within the hemp family. The main psychoactive agent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is among the prominent active compounds in the plant, including others such as cannabidiol, and terpenes. Cannabis is widely consumed owing to its medicinal and therapeutic benefits. The global cannabis-infused food have gained momentum due to the increasing popularity and consumption of cannabis by the mainstream population. The legalization of cannabis in some countries for medicinal or recreational use fuels the market growth.
Cannabis-infused food made its first appearance in the market through baked goods such as cookies, cakes, and brownies. The other different varieties of cannabis-infused food products include candy, gummy bears, chocolate bars, chips, popcorns and others. Cannabis-infused food products have emerged as an accessible way of consuming THC. Moreover, these food products are witnessing a rapid growth due to increasing product innovation and new product launches by the manufacturers.
The cannabis consumers are shifting from smoking flower with joints, pots, and bongs towards a variety of products, including concentrates, infused products, and topicals. The products that are launched in the market are addressing the attributes that the consumers demand for such as ease of use, the safety of the products, and accurate dosage within the products. These factors drive the cannabis-infused food market.
Key Market Driver -
Rising Demand for Cannabis-infused Edibles
Key Market Restraint -
Regulatory Stringency on Utilization of Cannabis
The regulatory uncertainties among the government bodies for the legalization of cannabis for food and recreational purposes, hampers the market growth. The cannabis utilized for recreational purposes is prohibited in most of the Asian countries and possession of it is considered as a criminal offense. Further, the long procedure and high cost for obtaining commercial cannabis business license by the manufacturers also pose as a restraint in its market growth.
The key companies operating in the global cannabis-infused food market are, Bhang Corporation, Kiva Confections, VCC BRANDS, Indus Holdings, Inc., Canopy Growth Corporation, Tilray, Inc., OrganigramHoldings Inc.,
Crft Manufacturing, Inc., Grön Chocolate, and Chill Chocolate.
The global cannabis-infused food market is segmented by application and geography. The bakery application segment is leading as it is the most established sector manufacturing cannabis-infused food products. The bakery products such as hash cookies, pot brownies and space cakes have grown popular among the consumers as they create a unique cuisine opportunity and aids in shedding the stigma about the CBD products. The cannabis-infused snacks and confectionery products are also gaining traction owing to the innovative product being introduced by the manufacturers. Many ready-to-eat popcorns and chips are also paving their ways into the market, helping in wider market penetration of cannabis-infused food.
North America is witnessing a robust growth in the cannabis-infused food sector. The countries such as the U.S. and Canada have legalized the utilization of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purpose. The cannabis-infused products have observed a major push after the passage of the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill which legalizes the hemp and hemp-CBD derived products across the country. According to Health Canada in 2018, it legalizes the adult usage of cannabis in the country. The increase in consumption rate of ready-to-eat snacks and confectionery items infused with cannabis aids the market growth.
Europe witnesses’ steady growth in the cannabis-infused food sector. The regulatory scenario for legalization of cannabis-infused edibles is still uncertain in the Europe. The utilization of medicinal cannabis is legal in some countries such as Germany and France. The European Commission is assessing the food application of cannabis, which if is successful will allow its incorporation as a permitted food ingredient in novel foods.
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Asia Pacific region is expected to exhibit a slow growth in the upcoming years. The regulatory stringency on cannabis utility and possession of it is considered as a criminal offense in most of the countries in the region. However, some countries such as Thailand and China have legalized the medicinal cannabis. Australia on the other hand has legalized the both recreational and medicinal cannabis, hence aids the regional sales performance of cannabis-infused food.
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