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Breaking News: Passage of 2018 Farm Bill Could Lead to a Flurry of M&A Activity in CBD Sector With Established Players

Industry Leaders Looking at Acquisitions and Partnerships to Enter Burgeoning Legal CBD Market

NEW YORK, Dec. 17, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cannagreed.com News Commentary

With the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, there are many companies in the CBD space that are poised to receive significant interest from industry leaders in numerous sectors that are looking to capitalize off the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill by acquiring or forming partnerships with the companies that have already entrenched themselves in the CBD sector. 

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the non-psychoactive chemical compound found in the hemp plant. The 2018 Farm Bill nationally legalizes the cultivation and farming of that plant, which in turn will allow for the national legalization of CBD, removing barriers that have restricted mainstream commercial acceptance of the compound.  Many companies have already staked positions in their industries to take the lead in establishing their leadership in the CBD and Hemp space.

Industry leaders have been taking notice of these events. They do not want to be left behind by the “CBD revolution”, as this bill “is a watershed moment for the CBD industry” said Brightfield Group, a company that specializes in cannabis and CBD market research, which projects that the medical and recreational CBD market is expected to reach an estimated value of $22 billion by 2022. Many companies have already expressed interest in acquiring or partnering with companies in the sector. The markets could positively reward these companies for their interest in the space: 

GW Pharmaceuticals (GWPRF), the maker of Epidiolex, an epilepsy drug containing CBD. This Company had the first FDA-approved drug made from the cannabis plant, and its approval was done in tandem with the FDA reclassifying certain drugs containing CBD to Schedule 5 drugs.  Now that CBD is a legal substance, there are expectations that the Company will be looking to develop other CBD derived drugs. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) would be natural fit to either invest or acquire GW Pharmaceuticals as they have invested in two startup bio-tech companies, Avicanna and Vapium Medical through its JLABS Innovation startup. In light of the recent scandal that has plagued the Company, further investment into the hot CBD sector might help J&J turn their business around. 

New Age Beverage (NBEV), the US based energy and natural beverage manufacturer recently announced that it was beginning to produce CBD infused beverages. This got the attention of the entire beverage industry, including Coca-Cola, whom was reportedly interested in acquiring a minority stake or acquiring New Age outright. This is would be a natural play for Coca Cola, as their core soft drink business is being eroded by healthier alternatives. They continuously looking for new beverages to add to their portfolio to address the growing consumer demand for healthy alternatives. New Age’s CBD infused beverages would fit within Coca-Cola’s mandate of diversifying through health conscious beverages, and would take advantage of the hot CBD sector.

American Premium Water Corporation (HIPH), the marketer and distributor of the first hydro-nano CBD infused beverage on the market, is another company in the CBD space that has been linked to a larger, established beverage company. It was reported that American Premium Water’s CEO had met with National Beverage Corporation (FIZZ), the manufacturer and distributer of various beverage brands, including the premium carbonated brand LaCroix, to discuss a potential partnership or minority investment. This would make a lot of sense for National Beverage, whom has also been besieged by its own scandal involving arsenic with its signature brand LaCroix. American Premium Water announced that it acquired proprietary CBD hydro-nano formulations which National Beverage could utilize for its line of beverages, including LaCroix. An entry into the burgeoning CBD space would re-invigorate the company, and they would be able to scale very quickly their wide distribution network a CBD infused beverage where there is a lot of thirst for product.

Youngevity International (YGYI), the coffee and nutritional product manufacturer, entered the CBD space in 2017, by introducing a number of CBD infused products into its direct and multi-level channels, including a CBD coffee product, which has become one of its most popular sellers. This company has had tremendous success building a captive CBD customer base with its coffee product, has drawn attention from many players in the industry, including Keurig Dr Pepper, which has extensive distribution in the coffee space, including its Green Mountain Coffee subsidiary. It would be very easy for Keurig to drop Youngevity’s CBD infused coffee blends into its distribution channel, as coffee is one of the top products infusing CBD. Its only a matter of time before the country’s largest coffee distributor enters the CBD space, and Youngevity looks like a natural target.   

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