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Unlocking the Untapped Market: Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Edibles in Mainstream Retail

Consider this proposition: Imagine you could market genuine cannabis edibles in conventional grocery, convenience, and liquor stores across several states without being confined by local marijuana laws and regulations. Envision a substantial opportunity for cannabis companies to present their edibles to millions of consumers who might never contemplate entering a marijuana retailer. Interestingly, the major players in the marijuana space seem hesitant to capitalize on this prospect.

This pertains to delta-9 THC products derived from hemp. The 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, commonly referred to as the 2018 Farm Bill, unintentionally legalized THC nationwide. In 2022, Minnesota lawmakers further legalized hemp-derived delta-9 edibles in the state, setting a THC cap of 5 milligrams per serving and 50 milligrams per package.

Since then, the sales of hemp-derived delta-9 edibles have surged in Minnesota, attracting numerous entrants into the market. Some states have relaxed their hemp laws, while others have tightened restrictions. Nevertheless, the opportunity presented by hemp-derived delta-9 products is more significant than what state-regulated systems could offer.

The Scalability Advantage

The key lies in scalability. The regulated marijuana retail system faces challenges in distribution and scaling due to its restrictive and specialized nature. On the contrary, hemp-derived delta-9 products don’t necessitate a marijuana license. They can be produced and distributed by established firms with expertise in getting products to retailers.

woman holding d9 cannabis gummies in her hands

Hemp-derived delta-9 products provide a branding opportunity that is more scalable than anything within state-regulated marijuana programs. Large multistate operators, however, seem hesitant to exploit this potential. Some speculate that these companies feel threatened by the concept of cannabis existing outside existing regulatory models.

Breaking the Mold

Despite being among the few licensed manufacturers and retailers, as demonstrated in Massachusetts, it is not an infallible business model. Hemp-derived delta-9 edibles offer a pipeline opportunity to create brands that consumers can discover in liquor stores, fostering brand loyalty and potentially leading them to seek out other cannabis products.

For cannabis MSO CEOs, instead of feeling threatened or fearful, this opportunity should be seen as a chance to leverage their capital, fundraising capabilities, and internal expertise in producing cannabis products safely.

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