From 2019 to 2023, Japan’s hemp cannabinoid market has expanded sixfold to ¥24 billion ($154 million), according to a Euromonitor International report outlined by the Japan Times. The growth is attributed to a growing demand for CBD products. 

Euromonitor International estimates there are 588,000 current CBD consumers in Japan. The nation still criminalizes the use and possession of intoxicating cannabis products. 

In December, Japan’s parliament passed legislation to revise the nation’s Cannabis Control Law for the first time to decriminalize the use of cannabis-derived medical products. The law also closed a loophole in current regulations by explicitly banning cannabis use.   

Aya Suzuki, a senior analyst at Euromonitor International, told the Times that major companies, including UHA Mikakuto and Cheerio have already launched CBD-infused gummies and drinks in certain regions and sales channels. 

“The liquid containing CBD (vapes) is the most common product type, but we expect large businesses to enter the market by launching food, beverages and dietary supplements.” — Suzuki to the Times 

Suzuki added that it is “normal” for Japanese companies to source CBD product ingredients from abroad and that some business owners importing ingredients “have increasingly” seen their products disposed of by customs officials because they either believe the products contain THC or because the products were detected to contain THC. 

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