New York cannabis vs NIMBYism
With the legalization of cannabis in the Empire State, attention now turns to finding locations for the cultivation sites, processing facilities and retail stores, which may prove more difficult to find than one might think, given the wide support for legalization.
According to a survey from Consensus Strategies, 52% of New York City residents do not want a cannabis shop in their neighborhood and 61% of state residents favor their local government’s ability to “opt-out” and ban cannabis companies from locating in their city, despite the same level of support for legalization in general.
“We often hear from cannabis entrepreneurs who think that the level of support for legalization will translate into support for siting a retail or cultivation facility. It often does not,” Patrick Fox, CEO of Consensus Strategies, said in a press release. “Legalization is only the beginning of the battle.”
Municipalities have until the end of the year to pass an ordinance prohibiting cannabis businesses.
Local zoning boards also have the right to decide where cannabis businesses may be located within communities. And according to the survey, the majority of New Yorkers (53%) believe that marijuana retailers should keep a low profile and be located outside of high-visibility retail areas. Gaining support for cultivation facilities where marijuana is grown and processed will be even more challenging with 62% of those over 50 opposed to cultivation facilities in their neighborhood. Statewide, 53% of Black/African-Americans and 61% of Hispanic/Latinos oppose cultivation facilities in their communities.
Other findings from the Consensus Strategies survey, which was taken prior to legalization, included:
– New Yorkers are split on social equity and social justice: 51% support license preferences for social equity applicants, while 50% support allowing those with former convictions for cannabis distribution to operate a legal cannabis shop;
– More than a quarter (27%) of those supporting legalization say they are unlikely to ever shop there if they open; and
– More than 1 out of 10 (13%) of those opposed to legalization say they are likely to be a customer if they open.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on March 31 signed a law legalizing adult-use cannabis and calling for the creation of regulations to allow its cultivation and sale. The state’s new regulated market is estimated to bring in more than $2.3 billion in annual sales by 2026, according to analytics firm BDSA.
— Brian Beckley
Future Growth for Pet Market
A new study by the Brightfield Group estimates that the already-booming market for pet CBD products will grow by nearly another 50% in 2021, reaching sales of more than $629 million, up from $426 million in 2020.
The report also provides a profile of pet CBD buyers, revealing the vast majority of the buyers — 53% — are millennials, with Generation X a distant second at 22%. Pet CBD buyers also tend to be female (55%) and city-dwellers (46%), followed by suburbanites at 30%. In addition, 73% use CBD themselves, up from 58% the year before.
The study also shows that in 2021, 77% of pet CBD products went to dogs, but purchases for cats are increasing slightly over 2020.
The Brightfield Group report also asked pet CBD buyers about their interactions with their veterinarians, who because of federal regulations risk defying the Food and Drug Administration and their State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners when they discuss potential benefits of CBD with pet owners. However, 70% of pet CBD buyers still discussed CBD with their veterinarian in 2021, and 85% received an “enthusiastic response” during the conversation, despite the doctors not being allowed to bring up the topic or relate more than anecdotal experiences of other owners because of federal regulations.
According to the survey, safety, CBD success, dosing, CBD type and the pet’s condition led the discussions with veterinarians.
The data also explores “interested” pet CBD buyers, or pet owners who are considering trying pet CBD. Of this population, 21% say they would purchase pet CBD from a veterinarian, more than those who’d consider buying from a chain pet store. Laws allowing vets to discuss CBD could trigger more entries in the pet CBD market and increase its revenue even further.
— Brian Beckley
Southern Hemp Expo
The Southern Hemp Expo is looking for a “return to normalcy” at this year’s event, September 2-4 at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, following an executive order removing most COVID restrictions.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper on May 14 issued Executive Order 215, officially lifting most of the state’s COVID restrictions, including all requirements for mask-wearing, social distancing and wellness screenings for events at the Raleigh Convention Center, except when more than 5,000 people are gathered in one space. And according to officials at convention center, even that last restriction on the number of attendees in one space may be lifted in time for the Southern Hemp Expo.
The three-day expo will feature 250 exhibitors, as well as an education component including the Let’s Talk Hemp Business Conference and Farm Symposium. Attendees will include farmers, genetics companies, soil amendment suppliers, equipment manufacturers, hemp foods producers, pet product formulators, extraction experts, processors, lab companies, industry organizations, brands, distributors, retail and wholesale buyers, marketers, ancillary service providers and more.
More than 100 speakers and special guests will provide the latest in green technology initiatives, natural fiber textile developments, building and construction materials, bioplastics, superfoods, cannabinoid applications and educational tracks for general consumers.
“It’s time to get the hemp industry back on track and focused on the future, so we finish 2021 on a high note and move into 2022 with a clear understanding of the obstacles and opportunities that lie ahead of us,” said Morris Beegle, president and co-founder of We Are for Better Alternatives, organizers of the Southern Hemp Expo.
For additional information about this year’s Southern Hemp Expo, visit www.southernhempexpo.com.