While Los Angeles is cracking down on black market cannabis businesses, a formerly fringe cannabis product is proving to be among the industry’s most lucrative. Across Los Angeles, you can now pay to have CBD extract eyed-droppered into your beverage du jour, whether a cafe a lait or a cocktail. The little something extra can now be found all over the region, including hipster destinations such as the bar Franklin and Co. in Hollywood, WKNDR in Los Feliz, and Gracias Madre restaurant in West Hollywood.
The boldness of serving the extract in the open comes on top of the long-growing industry of CBD-infused products such as lotions, bottled water, and even pet food.
“Word on the street is everybody thinks hemp’s the new gold rush,” Jerrad McCord, an Oregon marijuana farmer who recently added 12 acres of hemp to grow site, told the Press Herald.
While cannabis has become legal all up and down the U.S. West Coast, regulations on the plant have also become tighter. This has led to other great changes in the industry such as the recent crackdown in the city of angels, and the cannabis surplus in Oregon.
But there’s seemingly no end to the demand for CBD, and that cannabinoid can be derived from hemp, a plant which, unlike the flowering cannabis plant, is legal to grow for industrial purposes under federal law. At least half of the hemp being grown in the United States is used to make CBD extract.
CBD concentrate is now going for thousands of dollars a kilogram, making it a more attractive crop for many farmers. In Oregon, since the state legalized cannabis, too many farmers produced big bumper crops of cannabis, and the state failed to put any cap on the number of licenses a single grower could have. That produced a surplus so severe that in some cases producers have been forced to destroy their own crop.
“Whoever would have thought we’d get to the point of destroying pounds of marijuana?” Trey Wilson, another grower who recently switched his focus to hemp, told the Herald. With hemp, cultivators can make more than $100,000 an acre.
“This is a business. You’ve got to adapt, and you’ve got to be a problem-solver,” said McCord.
Photo via Flickr user Moe Fournier