The future is looking bright for the cannabis industry. The year 2018 saw some exciting changes, from the legalization of cannabis in Canada and the inclusion of hemp in the new farm bill. However, 2019 is proving to create even more exciting changes in the industry.
As cannabis continues to expand and diversify, enthusiasts are anxious to get ahead of the trends and find out what’s next. Here are some of the top trends to watch out for in the near future.
Expanding Consumer Markets
The face of the cannabis market is changing. As legalization continues to expand, and social acceptance increases, there is a wider variety of customers than ever. In fact, the average consumer is now middle-aged, and there is increasing consumption of cannabis amongst senior citizens. While the cannabis market was once mostly made up of a younger demographic, it’s now opening up to whole new markets.
Women, however, are proving to be the newest and most promising market yet. Not only are they using for themselves, but they also typically make health and wellness decisions for their families. As CBD is increasingly seen as a wellness product, sales soar amongst women and their families.
The old clichés about consumers and the cannabis market are changing rapidly. As a result, cannabis is growing faster than ever before.
Just like the target market is changing, the products in demand are shifting as well. Many customers who are curious to try have no interest in smoking it. This is leading to a wider diversity in cannabis products beyond the flower.
Vaping is the hot new trend to look out for in the cannabis industry. 2018 saw vaping overtake flower for the very first time in California. The trend is expected to continue as vaping offers a clean and more convenient experience for consumers over the traditional flower.
Edibles are also a booming trend. Edibles have grown beyond just the gummies and brownies of the past. Both CBD and THC edibles are popular who want to experience the benefits in a more convenient form.
A part of edibles exploding is beverages. Drinks, from hang-over proof beers, lattes, smoothies, and kombucha, are infused with cannabis oil to offer a new experience in cannabis. Expect cannabis-infused beverages to continue to grow in popularity over the next few years.
The legal landscape is changing for the better for the cannabis industry. Now that Democrats control the House of Representatives, there’s an increase in the momentum on the federal level. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) even laid out a step-by-step process for legalizing cannabis in 2019.
Legalization on a federal level will create relief for many businesses who struggle between state and federal laws concerning cannabis.
In addition to federal laws, legalization on a state level continues to head eastwards. New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Montana are amongst just a few of the states that are pushing towards legalization. Traditionally conservative Oklahoma recently legalized medical cannabis. Within a few months, over 3,000 cannabis-related businesses registered with the state.
Each state that legalizes the sale and use of cannabis equals a significant boon for the industry. Weed businesses can expect to start setting their sights eastward to reach newer markets as laws continue to shift in their favor.
Rise of Terpenes
The greatest and newest discovery in the world of cannabis is terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the taste and flavor in cannabis. It’s also hailed as a compound in cannabis that reduces inflammation. Terpenes also help with a wide variety of conditions from cancer to malaria.
Not only do terpenes a boon for health on their own, but research shows that they have an “entourage effect” with THC. The entourage effect means that terpenes and THC enhance each other so that they have more influence together than each does separately. As science continues to unearth yet another beneficial ingredient in cannabis, demand will increase as well.
The increase in demand will also drive the market for a wide variety of flavors. Terpenes give producers the chance to meet this demand and expand the flavors that they offer.
Increase in Investment
With consumer spending expected to jump 40% in 2019 to a whopping $18.1 billion, investors are clamoring to get a share in the market. Not only are individuals investing in cannabis, but large corporations have taken notice as well.
Weed businesses, both plant-touching and non-plant touching, are listed on the stock exchanges, which gives companies and individuals more of a chance to invest in these businesses. With more capital, cannabis businesses are expected to expand operations more in the coming year.
Much of the increased interest and investment can be traced to entrepreneur Nitin Khanna. He founded his first technology company, Saber Corporation, at the age of 25. After he grew the corporation to 1200 employees and $120 million in revenue. He went on to sell the company for four times its value. he set his sights on new challenges. His ambitions led him to MergerTech, and then the cannabis industry.
It surprised some people that a tech and banking entrepreneur would have interest in the cannabis industry. However, he saw the incredible opportunity just as states started to legalize the sale of cannabis, which has since grown into a multi-million dollar industry. Nitin Khanna and the rest of the team used their expertise and experience to start CuraCann in 2015.
Khanna’s intuitions paid off for him in a major way. As cannabis grew in leaps and bounds, Cura became one of the largest providers of cannabis oil to date.
Khanna changed the face of cannabis, and his involvement piqued the interest of investors everywhere. What investors once considered a niche market grew in mass appeal and wider access. Other major investors and entrepreneurs followed suit after his success, which led to even more growth in the industry.
With the major investments and market growth driving the cannabis industry, there are a wide variety of opportunities to look forward to in the near future. Whatever the future brings, you can expect it to be exciting growth for cannabis.