Samples of edible cannabis-based products are displayed during the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition in New York City, New York, U.S., June 16, 2016. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Citizens of the US states of Idaho and Indiana may soon be able to use cannabidiol (CBD) legally as legislative houses in both states seem to be nearing to map out terms that would allow this practice.

Recently, Idaho’s House, voting 59 to 11, has advanced a proposal that will allow residents to use this derivative from the cannabis plant. The bill, however, notes that this is allowable as long as a licensed practitioner allows the buyer. It is now up to the state’s senate house for decision.

Should this bill be approved by law, residents who would like to try and use the oil for medical purposes will have to seek approval from the Idaho Board of Pharmacy before they can register. If Idaho’s bill is approved, the state will join the 18 others that allow the use of cannabis products low in THC and high in CBD, but exclusively for medical purposes or for legal defence.

Meanwhile, Indiana, which is recently making strides on CBD legislation, has yet another good news. Indiana’s lawmakers unanimously voted to allow the sale and use of CBD in the state. Under its newly approved Senate Bill 52, it is now legal for Hoosiers to buy CBD oil that contains THC with a maximum content level of 0.3 percent. The measure will take effect upon the approval of the governor.

The Senate Bill 52 was based on a law passed last year, which allows epileptic patients to use CBD oil. The oil, however, would be available for purchase over-the-counter from retailers across the state.

An industry improvement

CBD is one of at least 85 cannabinoid compounds that can be found in cannabis. The substance has been considered legal for use as it does not contain the effects of the other cannabis compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which makes people “high.”

It means good news for the industry. But even without these positive legislative moves, the cannabis industry has been seeing gains over the past few years. For marijuana alone, 2017 sales are estimated to hit US$9.7 billion (AU$12.59 billion), a 33 percent climb from 2016 levels. The international cannabis industry as a whole is projected to total US$31.4 billion (AU$40.77 billion) by 2021.

Spurring the industry’s growth is the product’s inherent therapeutic effects that have been gaining popularity as more people scout for better alternatives in treating physical pains, anxiety and epilepsy among others. Aside from the product per se, positive baby steps in the legislature like those mentioned above are paving the way for more players to setup cannabis-related businesses.

But there are CBD products that can be consumed legally in these states, specifically those that use hemp-derived CBD. Hemp is a strain of cannabis that contains little to no THC. One of the companies that produce and distribute hemp-derived cannabis is PotNetwork Holding, Inc. (OTCMKTS:POTN). Its wholly owned subsidiary, Diamond CBD, has brought to the market over 15 recognisable CBD brands. These include CBD oils, gummies, vape pens and additives, and pet products, among others, which can be purchased in thousands of retail stores across the country.

Diamond CBD’s products have proven to be popular among consumers. In February, the company surpassed the million-dollar mark in sales, which translates to a growth of over 300 percent from a year ago.

Some of the largest companies in the cannabis business include Scotts Miracle-Gro, Canopy Growth, and GW Pharmaceuticals. With more states legalising the use of cannabis in one form or another, many other cannabis-related companies are expected to emerge while existing ones will inevitably take advantage of the growing market.

A press release for this article was sent to IBT Australia for consideration.