The Fifth Annual CBOutlook Conference Heads for Denver This October
The fifth annual CBOutlook Conference being held from October 16-17 at the University of Denver is fittingly titled, "Race for Market Share." In the past, the now four-year-old conference has set a high bar for unbiased analysis of all issues related to CBD.
The event, promoted by industry analyst Dr. Lloyd Covens, publisher of West420 NewsWeekly, will focus on the "business and science of cannabinoids." Twenty-two cannabidiol experts from around the globe will be speaking and anchoring panels on topics ranging from medical research to branding and marketing, legal considerations, innovation in genetics and extraction, agriculture, and investing.
Topics which are sure to be hot at this event include issues such as how the 2018 U.S. Farm Bill will affect the ability for domestic farmers enter the market, how GW Pharma's FDA-approved Epidiolex will impact consumer choices, and how clinical research and product innovation are expanding the consumer demand curve.
According to a recent conference call hosted by another industry analyst, New Frontier Data, North American CBD sales are expected to surpass $600 million for 2018.
“Research is quickly ramping up,” Dr. Covens noted recently. “Particularly, clinical trials for sleep, pain, and addictions will act to provide a larger market. For example, tobacco cessation products from CV Sciences which combine CBD and low nicotine combos are likely to be big sellers. In spite of tight FDA rules against making claims, CBD is getting a ton of word-of-mouth and social sharing about the good health outcomes of zero-THC CBD formulations for treating pain, mood, inflammation, and anxiety. Combinations of one-to-one CBD/THC are being linked to additional pain benefits.”
In a conference call this week, New Frontier Data projected $1.7 billion in sales in 2021, including $600 million in estimated sales for GW Pharma’s recently approved CBD-based anti-epileptic drug Epidiolex — the first cannabinoid-based drug to be approved by the U.S. FDA.
While the market is growing quickly, pricing is expected to fall. “Companies will no longer be able to charge 600 percent markups,” said Covens. “My best guess is that the industry will deliver oils at a price of 10 cents per milligram [of CBD]. Full spectrum [oils] will be higher, but [CBD] isolates will be even cheaper. Consumers will have a wide variety of quality products at lower prices.”
One of the reasons for projecting falling prices according to Covens is that the new Farm Bill is likely to pass.
“It will take hemp off the [DEA controlled substances] schedule. CBD will then become readily available across state lines and also exportable to Canada and Mexico," said Covens
He also pointed out that the Farm Bill will guarantee crop insurance for farmers. “This means that if a harvest rises over 0.3 THC [making the crop unsellable], farmers can recover their losses. More farmers are likely to enter the market, and the price of bulk hemp will be much cheaper.”
Dr. Covens expects leading companies to continue to look into new technologies. “ [They will] spend heavily on new delivery systems such as nano-sprays and quick release powders, and also on research to better understand the interplay of [cannabinoids] CBG, CBN, THC-A, and natural terpenes from cannabis.”
Research into the production of biosynthetic forms of CBD [i.e., yeast, e-Coli, humulene] will provide competition to the cannabis industry, according to Dr. Covens. “They won’t kill the natural [hemp and marijuana] plant options consumers are becoming most familiar with, and which will likely remain with favorite brands,” he noted
On the retail front, Covens had this to say: “Local health food and specialty store sales will grow to be as large as Internet sales by 2021.”
The event boasts a lineup of some of the cannabis industry’s heavy hitters, including, Stephanie Wilson, Editor in Chief of SENSImedia, Dr. Stuart Titus, CEO of HempMeds/MJNA, and Sean Murphy, Director of Hemp for New Frontier Data. Sessions held will include a review of CBD consumer studies and survey data, one titled “Race for Market Share — Brands, Markets and Message,” and one on legal issues called “The Legal Road Ahead: The FDA, DEA, UN, and California Health.”
Asked to provide the best reason why professionals in the CBD industry should attend this event, Dr. Covens spoke of its value. “Our conferences provide value by creating a safe place to exchange knowledge and ideas about this remarkable, healing group of products.”
Those interested in attending can sign up to attend the 5th CBOutlook at Eventbrite.com.
The cost to attend ranges from $222 for general admission tickets up to $945 for sponsorship, a booth, including tickets to the private events and the awards presentation. All participants will take home the 4th edition of the “CBOutlook CBD DataDisk.”
For more information visit CBOtlook web page.