CBD, Hemp industry undergoing rapid growth

CBD business has exploded across Atlanta and the country.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 10:22 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2023 at 11:08 PM EDT
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FULTON COUNTY, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Depending on your hobbies and interests, Thursday might be a holiday of sorts.

That’s because it’s April 20th, better known as 420.

For business owners Ryan Dills and Joe Salome, it’s the biggest day of the year.

“For the cannabis industry and for us as well, this is Christmas,” Salome said. “This is definitely our Christmas Day.”

It opens the gate for spring and summer sales.

“420 is kind of the kickoff of the retail season for us,” Dills said.

And it’s one heckuva kick. Since starting the Georgia Hemp Company almost five years ago, they’ve already expanded to four locations throughout Metro Atlanta.

It’s a sharp change in a short amount of time.

“I used to get shut down by every credit card processor, Venmo, and PayPal to begin with,” Salome said. “Now it’s a little bit different.”

CBD is now a $20 billion industry. Bloomberg estimates it could hit $60 billion by the end of the decade.

And yet, that doesn’t explain why 420 is, well, 420.

“I think mainly because of pop culture, especially now with the talk of legalization,” said a customer who fittingly identified himself as “Spicoli”.

Still, at this time, cannabis is illegal in Georgia.

“Illegal or regulated,” Salome corrected. “Regulated is a better way to say it.”

But with the state missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for any number of public uses, Dills and Salome are betting it won’t be long until the industry reaches a new high.

“I love working in this industry,” Dills said.