Episode 106 – Kight on Cannabis 2022 Predictions



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Joe: On this episode of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast," we're looking ahead to the new year with our 2022 regulatory protections. What does the new year have in store for the hemp industry? The regulatory crystal ball is back on this episode of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast," and it starts right now.

I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast." And if you haven't done so already, hit that subscribe button wherever you get your podcasts for notifications of new episodes each week. Don't forget, catch full video episodes of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast" on YouTube. We're just about at the end of 2021, as hard as that may be to believe, holidays are right around the corner. It's been quite a year in the hemp industry on the regulatory front, so we'll review some of 2021, and what does the year ahead look like? Maybe we'll go through some predictions of 2022. Industry advocate attorney Rod Kight back on the podcast is joining me for this episode. Merry Christmas, happy new year, and all the other holidays, happy holidays. Welcome back to the podcast, Rod.

Rod: Thanks, Joe. Right back at you, and right back to the viewers. It's always great to be here. You're right, 2021 has been a strange, strange year, looking forward to chatting about it and, of course, looking forward to talking about 2022, and to getting on with 2022, you know, getting things moving forward.

Joe: So let's just go ahead. We'll jump right into 2022 to start, then we'll talk about what happened in the past year. But something we've been talking about, seems like déjà vu every year, is 2022, finally the year the FDA has something.

Rod: Well, you know, no one on the planet can tell you whether that's the case or not. My prediction is no, I don't think the FDA is gonna do anything in 2022. It's got a lot on its plate for years, as we say, déjà vu all over again. Every year we say, "Oh, is this year for the FDA?" And so, maybe I'm gonna predict no and that'll, you know, somehow or another make it happen so the FDA's gonna do something. But I don't think so. I don't think we're gonna see any developments from the FDA on CBD or cannabinoids in 2022.

Joe: You know, and it is an interesting point you bring up with cannabinoids because a year ago we touched on Delta-8 and other cannabinoids in the predictions episode, but seems that segment exploded in 2021 far more than anyone thought, do you see that continuing as we head into 2022 and maybe what some of those other cannabinoids are?

Rod: Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, D-8, Delta-8 THC from hemp was the story for 2022 across the entire cannabis industry. And I think we're gonna continue to see that play out in 2022 with some unique twists. I remember talking with you about this time last year and D-8 was beginning to, sort of, you know, take the market a little bit, but no one knew what was going, and it exploded, and now we have an incredible market. I had a client just earlier today was texting me about opening some new stores, and he has a lot of CBD shops throughout the Southeast. And he said, "You know, I'll open another shop that sells Delta-8, it'll pay for itself in no time." He said that everyone loves it. It's what people are going for.

On the regulatory, on the legal front, it has been a year of controversy. We've had lots of disputes and webinars, and briefings, and white papers, and lawsuits, and regulations, and new statutes, and attorney general opinions. It's just been all over the map literally and figuratively with Delta-8 and regulations. So, I do think that is gonna continue into 2022 and probably just the conversation will continue. I have some predictions though also about some other cannabinoids that I think are gonna pop up and be talking about here pretty soon.

Joe: Yeah. About those other cannabinoids, looking around the country, certainly seen a variety of headlines and legislations this year. What can we see from different states in the cannabinoids as we head into 2022? What do you think some of the news stories are gonna be?

Rod: Yeah. We know that, in the hemp world, it's always been here's the federal law, and then we just see this patchwork developed with states, and that's just gonna continue with Delta-8, different states handling it different ways from not discussing it all to having, you know, on the other end of the spectrum, statutes that either expressly allow them under certain circumstances or expressly prohibit them under certain circumstances.

But, you know, I think we're gonna see two things develop in 2022 that are gonna be really important and probably we're gonna be discussing this time next year. And one is that we're gonna see some of the other, we call them novel cannabinoids, start to really truly begin to be a lot more mainstream. CBM will be a big one, cannabinol. CBG has been kind of floating right under the surface of mainstream acceptance for a while. My prediction, it's gonna stay the same place. THCV, tetrahydrocannabivarin, that's gonna probably start seeing more and more that. These cannabinoids are on the market now, and they're starting to gain steam.

But I think, the real one we're gonna see is Delta-9 THC, the old standby for THC, the most common one, Delta-9. And what we're gonna see, I believe, is an explosion of products on the market that contain Delta-9 THC from hemp in concentrations that do not exceed 0.3%, which is the Farm Bill limit, but that have significant enough concentrations or quantities of THC that people will get some sort of euphoric intoxicating effect. And what we're gonna see that happen is it's gonna sideline some of the controversy and some of the [inaudible 00:06:06] that are going on in the Delta-8 world. And, by the same token, I think people are gonna be saying, "Wait a second, you know, what's going on here? We have Delta-9 products on the market." I think that's what we're gonna be talking about this time next year. We're gonna see a big explosion on the market of products in that realm.

Joe: Have we seen anything legislatively around the country yet on Delta-9? I mean, you know, Delta-8, we've seen state headlines, one state may be different from another. Have we seen anything from Delta-9 and it doesn't look like anything could change heading into the new year?

Rod: You know, we've seen nothing that's targeted towards Delta-9. This is, bizarrely, a fairly new phenomenon, but we have seen some state regulations and state statutes that could capture, so to speak, Delta-9 within its limit. You know, we're seeing states begin to address issues of intoxication. We're seeing states begin to address actual milligrams of THCs of any form. We definitely see states addressing what are called variously artificial or synthetic cannabinoids, and really what they're referring to is Delta-8 and Delta-10 that's derived from CBD, but that wouldn't capture Delta-9, which can just actually be extracted from hemp. So, I think we're gonna see, in particular, a lot of full-spectrum products that have an array of cannabinoids but just, again, with enough on Delta-9 THC that you'll feel it.

Joe: And industry-wise, along with all these new products, a lot of businesses, and we've talked about this, you know, we're heading into the year, we've seen a lot of mergers, we've seen companies go out of business. Does that continue into the industry as we head into 2022 or are we starting to maybe a level it out a little bit?

Rod: No, I think we're gonna continue to see that. I think it's gonna ramp up some. It's two things. The industry is beginning to mature, and this is the natural progression of an industry that does mature is you see some consolidation, you see mergers or acquisitions, you see some that are making it and moving forward, you see some that aren't making it. And then use a layer on top of that COVID and how it really pulled the rug out from a lot of companies that were just beginning to get their legs, so to speak, and haven't been able to make it. But maybe they've got some assets, some branding, or some equipment, or connections, or certain unique products that can go to market, but maybe not under their own flagship, and so maybe they merge with another company or their assets are purchased. So, yeah, to answer your question, I think we're definitely gonna see a lot more in the way of consolidation in the industry.

Joe: We've talked so much about it here at home in the U.S., but outside of the U.S., you know, we've talked a lot about Mexico, we talked...an episode about the novel foods in the European Union. What does it look like, you know, outside of the U.S. for the industry as we head into 2022, and what could happen elsewhere?

Rod: Well, that's the other big prediction is we're gonna see a lot of action outside the U.S., probably not a whole lot of action in the U.S. in terms of broad-scale legislative changes. But the international community is really coming up to speed. And you have this unique phenomenon. Well, you'll have a large country, say Germany has been talking about legalization, is likely to legalize in 2022. Mexico is likely to legalize in 2022. Between those two countries alone, you've got over 200 million people. In the meantime, you might see some countries kinda pop up out of nowhere. Malta just legalized, became the first country in the European Union to legalize cannabis broadly. So we also may see some of that, see some smaller countries that can be a little more nimble that see the dollars are there, see that their population wants 'em, and bam, pop online. So, I think internationals is gonna be big news in 2022.

Joe: So we've talked about the big news of 2022, let's wrap up 2021. Biggest news of 2021, in your mind, that really stole the headlines?

Rod: D-8. It's just harder to argue that it was anything else. Delta-8 THC was the news, not only in the hemp world, but in the cannabis world at large for 2021.

Joe: And a year from now...we talked a little bit about this in regards to the answers. But a year from now, biggest story will be looking back on 2022 and heading into 2023, what do you think?

Rod: Harder to predict, but I will say either the Mexican market actually opens up in a big way and/or Delta-9 hemp products are gonna explode on the marketplace and cause a big stir, controversy, lot of marketing, and everything else.

Joe: Well, Rod, always a great episode to take a look back at the year, then obviously at the year ahead, a lot for folks to keep in mind. And, of course, you contribute to the podcast throughout the year, so, as always, we thank you for appearing on the podcast this year. We look forward to having you back in 2022 and beyond.

Rod: Well, I hope to be back. It's nice talking with you, Joe, as always.

Joe: And we'll certainly have some new features with Rod and some other partners throughout the year in 2022 here on the podcast. We're also looking to do some forum episodes so be sure and stay tuned to that. Industry advocate attorney Rod Kight, my guest on this episode of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast." Don't forget to hit that subscribe button to get notifications of new episodes each week. And you can always stay on top of all the latest news, Rod's articles and blogs by visiting cannabusiness.law. The link to that website in the description of this episode. Industry advocate attorney Rod Kight wrapping up the year with us here on "The CBG and CBD University Podcast." Happy holidays to you and the family. Safe travels if you're going anywhere.

Rod: Yeah, thank you. Right back at you, Joe, and to the viewers.

Joe: And we look forward to having all of these predictions come true in 2022, and then we can get back at the end of the year again and let everybody know.

Rod: Do it all over again, right?

Joe: Still waiting on the FDA.

Rod: Exactly, that's my...that's the prediction, right.

Joe: There you go. Rod Kight, thanks again for joining me. And I'm Joe Agostinelli, host of "The CBG and CBD University Podcast." Thank you for tuning in, and from all of us here at Global Widget, we wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. CBD products are unintended to treat you or prevent any disease or condition. Always consult your personal physician about CPG and using CBD products. CBD should never be used by anyone under the age of 18. This podcast had not intended to provide legal advice regarding the legal status of CPG and CBD products.