If one thing is certain, it is that the future of cannabis holds good things for the industry. Everything has started improving after decades of a bad reputation for marijuana. That is because experts put in a lot of time and effort into educating the public and enhancing cannabis’ image.
Is it possible to predict what the future holds for cannabis? Apart from good things, we will surely see some large changes in the industry in the coming years. Here are some predictions on the plant’s prospects in the decade before us!
The Legal Landscape Will Change for the Better
I’d like to start with the basics and the fact that the federal law considers cannabis legal. Although the legality of marijuana only involves those products with THC content no higher than 0.03%, this is still significant progress. Everything started in 2018 when the new Farm Bill was signed by President Trump.
However, US states still have the jurisdiction of deciding whether marijuana will be legal on their territory. At this moment, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are the only states where cannabis is entirely illegal. That means medical and/or recreational use of marijuana is legal in over 40 states throughout the US.
While that is an impressive number, the cannabis community shouldn’t stop there. I expect to see the efforts for legalizing cannabis increased, and not only in the United States. Pressure and public education are giving results, and that is how we should continue.
Crossing Borders with Marijuana Products
Here is an exciting thought for the marijuana manufacturers – what if you could cross borders with your products? That seems difficult to do at the moment with all the different regulations. But what if a larger number of countries legalize marijuana? That will ensure a bigger market and an opportunity to increase sales.
I believe the trend of legalizing cannabis will continue in the coming years. More states will legalize the plant’s medical and recreational use, and that is something the entire world will accept. We will see an increased number of countries legalizing marijuana, which can be critical for the industry.
The Power of Brands
Here is another thing that comes hand in hand with crossing borders – the power of recognizable brands? It is completely the same as with consumer appliances. If you see a smartphone, you are more likely to buy a Samsung brand than the one you never heard of before. The goal should be to establish those brands since it seems they are missing from the market right now.
What does a brand need to position itself as an industry leader?
If you ask me the following things:
Consumer trust – the customers should recognize the brand and trust the quality of the products.
Customer loyalty – users will only stick to a particular brand without the need for experimenting.
Authentic – apart from meeting the basic user needs, top brands will need to be innovative to succeed.
Forget About Wine and Beer, and Try Marijuana!
People are already more open to hearing about marijuana and its potential benefits. Each person has a friend they can rely on to discuss cannabis. It is nice to see that more users are also eager to try weed for the first time.
All that should ensure that new demographics join cannabis consumers. It shouldn’t be a surprise if they take over beer and wine demographics, which is currently dominating. Does your grandpa love a sip of beer before sleeping? Don’t be surprised if he substitutes beer with cannabis!
You will even be able to enjoy marijuana products in restaurants and bars. At this moment, there are some dispensaries where you can hang out and try cannabis items, as well as consumption booths that pop up at music festivals. But what if you can dress up and go to a restaurant to eat a cannabis-infused steak? Or what if bars will serve marijuana-infused drinks to relax and get you in the right mood for dancing? All that sounds attractive, and it would completely change the way going out looks for all generations!
Consumption preferences will also shift more and more from smoking to edibles/ topicals and vaping. In the edibles segment, cannabis-infused drinks are the next big thing.
Will Non-Psychoactive Applications Keep Their Top Position?
Although this assumption isn’t so bold, it is worth mentioning. The increased interest in marijuana leads to better user education when it comes to this plant. People use the internet and other relevant sources to learn more about cannabis and its components. That is why many customers are looking for non-psychoactive products, and hemp-derived CBD, and other items.
If we are talking about spreading the popularity of marijuana, promoting CBD and other non-psychoactive cannabinoids can be the right move.
We Still Have to Dig into the Power of Cannabinoids
At this moment, CBD and THC are the most talked about cannabinoids in marijuana. That is why you will find information about its concentration in all products. However, the reports indicate that cannabis contains more than a hundred other cannabinoids.
In the future, I expect that CBD and THC will share the spotlight with other cannabinoids, including but not limited to, the following:
Scientific research doesn’t have a lot of information on these cannabinoids because cannabis itself started attracting scientists’ attention only in the last couple of decades. However, as more studies are conducted, and consumers get savvy, I believe we will see additional interest in these other cannabinoids .
I am excited to see what these changes will bring. Just imagine the sheer number of cannabis-based products that would be available if the manufacturers can focus on more cannabinoids than now.
Doctors Will Recommend Medical Marijuana More Often
Medical marijuana is legal in numerous states, and some doctors recommend it for pain relief and relaxation. This trend is likely to continue over the coming decade, which means more doctors will recommend cannabis as a part of treatment for various health conditions and ailments.
It is an exciting option that could revolutionize the entire medicine. Cannabis can open up new options in coming up with successful treatments and ensuring the patient feels more comfortable during chemo and other therapies.
The pharmaceutical industry will accept marijuana, and they will implement it in a wide range of drugs. That will make medical cannabis more accessible than ever. The most common use of weed at the moment is to provide pain and stress relief when necessary. An increased number of users will start using marijuana for this benefit in the coming years. The opioid epidemic will be hopefully stopped thanks to cannabis.
A Significant Increase in Legal CBD and THC Sales
There is a huge problem with illegal markets of marijuana, especially in the United States. The estimation is that the legal market only accounts for 15% of the country’s total cannabis sales. That is why the authorities should look for mechanisms to legalize sales and use of marijuana. It will secure multiple benefits because it will increase the budget revenue while controlling the market that the products sold are safe to use.
Apart from commercial, I expect an obvious improvement in the amateur market. That means more people will start growing cannabis at home. Amateur growers will learn more about cultivating marijuana for personal use. Users will also appreciate tips on preserving weed so that it lasts longer.
Cannabis Will Become an Ingredient Rather Than a Product
It is nice to see campaigns for marijuana legalization throughout the world. That trend is likely to continue in the next decade. The international legislation will be driven in part thanks to pop culture and celebrities, TV shows, movies, and mass media dominated by cannabis-related references and conversation.
If the industry wants to take cannabis use to the next level, I believe the focus should be on marijuana as an ingredient. If you offer people more foods, drinks, pills, and other products with cannabis, it is more likely they will buy them than a marijuana strain (no matter how good it is)
A Noticeable Diversity in Customer Types
The information about marijuana has never been this accessible. It is easy to head online to learn more about cannabis. You might go to a local dispensary and chat with a “budtender” or even ask a friend to discover the basics of this plant.
I expect to see the increased accessibility of cannabis products in the coming years. Since the legal landscape will change, it will be easy to get marijuana items delivered to your doorstep. That will increase the diversity of customers as new demographics will join. I believe in new consumer demographics to start consuming cannabis, the ones who wouldn’t be comfortable in the pre-legal days buying the illegal drug from a “drug dealer”, but more than curious to order cannabis-infused wine via a delivery app or visit a local dispensary.
We also expect that delivery services will be getting a greater share of sales, overtaking dispensaries as a key sales channel, as convenience is a big factor.
Cannabis has a bright future, but the one that will be significantly different than cigarettes, alcohol, and other familiar verticals. Marijuana can alter how people act and think, so its popularization might have huge effects that are even hard to estimate. We can only hope to see a less aggressive and more tolerant and self-aware society.
Hippie movements are a part of the cannabis’ backstory, which is why we can look forward to their dreams and ideals, becoming a new reality in the next decade. Nobody says that marijuana is a “treat it all” herb, but we can hope to bring the positive changes that this world needs.
Igor is an expert in digital marketing with over 20 years of experience. He believes that modern marketing should give freedom and equal opportunities to all people in the industry. Igor fulfilled his old dream, created the AskGrowers project. AskGrowers’ goal is to give voice to all members of the cannabis industry regardless of their capital size.