China is the world’s major cannabis planting area, accounting for about half of the world’s total area. Two of China’s 34 regions are leading a boom in cultivating cannabis to produce cannabidiol, or CBD, which has become a consumer health and beauty craze in the United States and beyond. Legal cannabis is a booming market worldwide, expected to be worth US$57 billion in 10 years, with legal adult recreational use accounting for 67 per cent, and medicinal marijuana taking up 33 per cent, according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytic.
Unauthorized cultivation or trade in marijuana, however, is strictly prohibited as outlined in Article 357 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China. Legal cannabis, however, is a booming industry over here. Five of the top ten Cannabis Sativa patent holders are Chinese according to the World International Property Organization patent scope database.
Now the Chinese cannabis companies are trying to enter the US market. The regulatory problems are the biggest barriers for the Chinese as well as the other cannabis companies of the other nations to enter the US market. Companies are seeking help from the international cannabis lawyers to get a good view of the US cannabis market. For the Chinese cannabis producing firms, it is important to know a few questions about the US market, such as-
- Which cannabis products can be imported into the United States?
- Which consumer markets are most likely to be receptive to their products?
- Which U.S. states have favorable regulatory licensing and enforcement environments?
- Which financial, logistics, and insurance companies they can and should be working with?
Although North America continues to be a hotbed of activity for the cannabis sector, the market has become saturated and this has put pressure on the price of cannabis. In the US, cannabis regulations are determined at the state level and each state has different rules when it comes to regulating the industry.
The United States federal government still classifies “marijuana” as a Schedule I controlled substance with no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Thus, federal law effectively prohibits importation of marijuana into the United States. Federal law prohibits human consumption and possession of schedule I controlled substances. Products containing THC, the hallucinogenic substance in marijuana, are illegal to import. Products that do not cause THC to enter the human body are therefore legal products.
At the federal level, cannabis remains a controlled substance, but more states are voting to legalize marijuana in one form or another. And cannabis stocks are growing—no pun intended—in popularity on several major exchanges. Hemp is only legal for educational and research purposes through state pilot programs. CBD derived from Hemp and Marijuana is still schedule 1 in the United States, so operating within the state’s laws is important to be legally compliant.