CHICAGO — A consumer study from Culinary Visions found trust and traceability are top issues related to food and beverage products made with cannabis ingredients. The survey of 2,000 consumers found 45% said they would trust products commercially made to be safe.

While 42% said they would prefer to buy from a small-batch producer rather than a big food company, 29% said they would trust the quality of cannabis-infused products bought online. Half of the people surveyed said they would feel more comfortable buying cannabis-infused products if they were able to speak with a knowledgeable sales representative.

The four most popular products were baked foods, with 48% interested in trying, candy/gummies (45%), snacks (44%) and non-alcoholic beverages (41%). Forty-seven per cent said they would choose to consume cannabis for the effect while 50% said they would prefer not being able to taste the cannabis.

“With the momentum for legalization of cannabis, we felt this was the perfect time to explore interest in specific food and beverage products with cannabis ingredients,” said Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions, a division and registered trademark of Chicago-based Olson Communications, Inc. “We believe the global interest of consumers in functional ingredients and the cachet of adventure that has long been associated with cannabis is fueling this trend. Some of the characteristics associated with product concepts that appealed to consumers were the same characteristics that appeal in gourmet retail and restaurant venues. Small batch production, knowledgeable staff and great taste are examples of these attributes.”

Both hemp and marijuana are forms of cannabis. Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is less than 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, a psychoactive compound, on a dry weight basis, according to the Food and Drug Administration. While marijuana laws vary by state, the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act in the United States.