Japan’s CBD market hits $154 million and will continue to grow, report suggests


Japan’s CBD market reached $154 million (¥24 billion) final yr, and additional progress is anticipated following the enactment of modifications within the nation’s most important hashish regulation, in accordance with a brand new report.

Market researcher Euromonitor Worldwide stated enlargement within the Japanese CBD market – which has ballooned by 600% since 2019 – will be anticipated to proceed following modification of the Hashish Management Legislation by the Japanese Parliament late final yr.

Underneath the modifications, hemp-derived medical merchandise are being decriminalized – though the modification additionally closes a loophole in present rules to explicitly ban leisure marijuana. Medical marijuana additionally stays unlawful.

Medical grade solely

Central to the regulation’s replace is a provision that can technically permit the home manufacturing of hemp-derived medical-grade cannabinoids – primarily prescription-only CBD – however particular guidelines for such manufacturing usually are not but fully clear.

It additionally stays unclear if the replace to the Hashish Management Legislation will legitimize the import and gross sales of over-the-counter CBD extracts – which make up the majority of authorized hashish gross sales in Japan – as these rules are additionally nonetheless being developed.

Underneath present Japanese guidelines, solely merchandise constituted of hemp seeds or stalks could also be legally imported for non-pharma-grade merchandise. However that didn’t cease importers and sellers from merely labeling their CBD merchandise as coming from hemp stalks when in truth they have been constituted of flowers – as regulation enforcement businesses usually turned a blind eye.

Brisk enterprise

Japanese customers shopping for CBD earlier than 2021 have been those that wished to get excessive however who didn’t have the choice. So CBD gross sales flourished till the introduction of hemp-derived psychoactive substances akin to delta-8 THC and HHC hit the market.

The federal government finally did begin cracking down on the intoxicating hemp compounds however regulation businesses have stated reining within the merchandise containing these unregulated substances is like taking part in “whack-a-mole.”

As many as 150 corporations are believed to be concerned within the CBD commerce in Japan as importers or distributors of merchandise offered on-line and in bodily stores, and Euromonitor estimates there are 588,000 common CBD customers.

Will huge gamers come?

The revision of the Hashish Management Legislation may appeal to main corporations to enter the market by 2024, in accordance with Euromonitor senior analyst Aya Suzuki.

Suzuki informed the Japan Instances that main corporations, together with UHA Mikakuto and Cheerio have already launched CBD-infused gummies and drinks in sure areas and gross sales channels. 

“Regardless of challenges in guaranteeing high quality, complying with rules, and educating customers, CBD gross sales are projected to outpace the illicit hashish market by 2026, pushed by rising well being and wellness consciousness amongst customers looking for alternate options to conventional merchandise like cigarettes and alcohol,” Suzuki wrote in a abstract of the Euromonitor report.

She stated the rising presence of CBD throughout numerous sectors, together with well being & magnificence, and meals & drinks, ought to reshape societal perceptions of CBD and hashish.

Security issues

Nonetheless, issues over product security and regulatory compliance persist, highlighted by incidents akin to sicknesses linked to CBD-infused gummies containing the psychoactive compound HHC which have been extensively reported final yr.

Suzuki stated Japanese corporations that supply CBD product substances from overseas have more and more seen their merchandise disposed of by customs officers as a result of they both consider the merchandise comprise – or the merchandise have been discovered to comprise – THC. 

“The yr 2023 marked a pivotal second for hashish in Japan, signaling a possible turning level for the nation’s CBD market,” Suzuki wrote. “Key to the market’s success will likely be corporations’ means to teach customers about the advantages of CBD merchandise, emphasizing compliance, high quality management, and scientific proof.”


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