In our 2021 cannabis trends recap, we covered the top trends the industry saw this year. But what about our predictions for moving forward?
With the new year rapidly approaching, it’s time to look at our top 12 predictions for the cannabis industry in 2022!
We kept our research going, and discovered, based on cannabis legislation, existing trends, and expert advice, what the future might hold, including the 2022 cannabis trends. Let’s dig in.
A lack of access to banking is not new news for the cannabis industry, which faces significant roadblocks in operation. But there are two potential beacons of hope for cannabis companies — the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act and changes to the IRS Code 280E.
The SAFE Banking Act sets out to protect access to banking by members of the cannabis industry. It was passed in the House in 2019 but died in Committee. Since then there has been ongoing debate but its passage has been hindered by Republicans in the Senate. It was passed again in the House earlier in 2021 and is back at Committee stage.
There are also ongoing discussions about changes to IRS Code 280E. This specific section of the Internal Revenue Code prohibits the deduction of several business expenses on federal taxes for businesses presently engaged in trading controlled substances, like cannabis.
While these two pieces of proposed legislation are still being debated, there are signs that momentum is building for change, and we predict that big things are coming soon.
It’s no secret that the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis are trending favorably. Even before the Presidential election of 2020, members of Congress had introduced several bills aimed at loosening federal restrictions or decriminalizing cannabis.
The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, which would have decriminalized cannabis and expunged criminal records for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act would have prohibited federal enforcement actions against cannabis conduct that is otherwise compliant with state law.
The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act only complicated the legalization landscape even more in 2021. This comprehensive bill would significantly change how cannabis is regulated by the federal government, enable interstate commerce in cannabis, and decriminalize cannabis.
As with the banking situation, there is no clear and direct path to any of these bills becoming law. Regardless, it’s clear that Congress continues to push forward in favor of the cannabis industry.
Surprisingly, it’s not just the Democrats in Congress making moves. U.S. Republican Nancy Mace from South Carolina just introduced a new bill to decriminalize cannabis, promoting each state’s individual preference for treating cannabis. Again, while this bill is still some distance away from becoming law, this new and refreshing energy from a Republican in a red state could help thrust the ongoing debate forward.
The cannabis industry is no stranger to integrated technology. To help evolve and refine the cannabis experience, we’re expecting a growth in the number of cannabis products and consumption tools that harness data and new technology emerging in the upcoming year.
From vapes that developers can routinely update to QR codes on product packaging, cannabis tech will continue to get more intelligent and innovative, on a par with all other smart household devices.
Cannabis is quickly embracing the Internet of Things, which will prove to be a benefit to producers and consumers alike. With the data this technology provides, marketers will begin to gain insight into what effects people are experiencing and how they are enjoying their cannabis.
Take, for example, the latest technology for being able to test potency from the comfort of your own home. How potent is your cannabutter? Are you tired of guessing when it comes to dosing? The Check Potency Testing Plus technology allows you to eliminate all the guesswork.
Now, for both THC and CBD, you can give yourself the gift of lab-grade accuracy. You can even utilize the accompanying app to check your potency if you’re on the go. Check out the expansion kit to test concentrates, flowers, and more for even more accurate testing. You can pick up the base model for only $280 and the Expansion Kit for another $200.
One of 2022's cannabis trends we’re most excited to see is the rise in the number of consumption lounges and, as a direct result, the growing profile of cannabis in the tourism sector.
Because of the legality concerns of using cannabis in many states across the country, consumers have mostly been forced to indulge in private. But, as the market continues maturing and decriminalization gathers steam, consumers will begin pushing for more elevated experiences.
The solution to providing an elevated cannabis experience will be the introduction of consumption lounges.
Nevada has passed legislation allowing adults to eat or smoke cannabis in consumption lounges and in doing so has become the eighth state to legalize pot lounges. In mid-2022, we can expect to see the first Vegas consumption lounges opening.
While consumption lounges are mostly rarities and tend to be slow to open, they will set the stage for breaking down some of the boundaries the industry faces today. Consumption lounges will be sure to help with boosting cannabis sales, de-stigmatizing the plant, and potentially supporting social equity.
Consumption lounges will create another venue for industry leaders to connect directly with their customers. In addition, they will open up endless possibilities for experiential marketing. As consumers return to public life with the ever-present craving for novelty, this segment is primed to become even bigger post-pandemic.
As cannabis tourism continues to trend favorably, we can only anticipate seeing more growth in this area, including things like cultivation classes, cannabis-spa packages, dispensary and farm tours, and even cannabis hotels and restaurants.
With a new year comes the emergence of new product offerings. The cannabis flower will continue its reign as king in most markets. Again, touching on the post-pandemic market filled with consumers looking to socialize in large groups once again, we’ll see the rise of new cannabis products that accommodate this lifestyle.
We expect to see canna-beverages exploding in the next year. Innovative technologies in the cannabis industry continue to improve emulsion techniques and nanotechnology. At the same time, more and more Americans are seeking out non-alcoholic alternatives. It’s the perfect time for something like canna-beverages to enter the market, filling that void as a lower-calorie, non-hangover-inducing option.
A growing number of sports stars, musicians, and actors, including some of Hollywood’s biggest names, are trying their hand at investing in the cannabis industry. As cannabis continues to trend in the mainstream, many famous folks are hopping into the business. Here are just a few noteworthy celebs and their brands:
For those who aren’t interested in following the latest and greatest of the stars, new technology will bring growing into the comforts of their own homes. What once required a substantial growing operation can now be done quickly and discreetly with modern technological purchases in the cannabis sector.
Any cannabis connoisseur’s dreams of easy, fast, and discreet growing are now a reality thanks to The Armoire by Green Goddess Supply. Designed to look like an ordinary armoire, this growing center allows anyone to grow from anywhere in their home. Daily maintenance is minimal, requiring just a few minutes each day. Best of all, the system includes a quiet filtration system and a no-smell carbon scrubber for quiet and odorless operation.
Each purchase includes 90-days of complimentary concierge support so you can be sure you are maximizing your growth potential. The armoire comes in two stylish finishes: Cherry and Barn Board Finishes for $1,395 or Moderne Black for $1,595.
Consumers can check out HydraMax by Hydra Unlimited for a more advanced growth system, which promises to take cannabis growing to the next level and beyond with its comprehensive hydroponics system.
One of the primary benefits of hydroponics is that it eliminates the guesswork from crop maintenance by seamlessly providing your plants with the ideal amounts of water and nutrients. And now, thanks to Hydra Unlimited, you can have this advanced system in your own home. Give yourself the gift of healthier plants and higher yields for $1,499.
Not surprisingly, THC and CBD will remain on top of everyone’s list, but some of the 100-plus lesser-known cannabinoids are going to start to become more and more popular. Be on the lookout in the upcoming year for some of these less common cannabinoids:
These compounds, that can be used to achieve new highs and treat various conditions, will be continuously studied to determine their specific benefits.
In the world of psychedelics, cannabis is also moving mountains in terms of paving the way for the legalization of psilocybin mushrooms and other psychedelics. Using cannabis’ path as a guide, many have already started exploring the therapeutic potential of these plants, and grassroots organizers are pushing for decriminalization and legalization.
Cannabis is booming —so much so that this period we’re currently in is referred to as the Green Rush. Everyone is getting on board with cannabis, which is why we’re not too surprised to see it in the heart of the home, the kitchen.
It’s incredible to see how far it’s already come. Even the notable Food & Wine released an article this year titled The Food & Wine Guide to Culinary Cannabis, with everything including the basics, how to make your own cannabutter, and some drool-worthy recipes.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of our top picks:
Investors are growing more confident as the cannabis industry continues moving towards federal legalization. These investors will continue to use the same tactics they have in the past for more traditional businesses but instead pour their money into cannabis brands. 2022 cannabis trends suggest that the funding drought will be over for many.
Cannabis marketing departments will be messaging not only B2B or B2C but also digging deeper into market segments and B2I. We’ll be watching cannabis founders become experts at raising capital in both maturing and newly approved markets, with more Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPAC) and venture capital funds getting involved in the cannabis space.
The largest and oldest trade show in the cannabis sector is MJBizCon. At this year’s conference, we are likely to see an increase in global growth with contributing countries beyond the United States, including Paraguay, Germany, and Argentina.
We are expecting to see the largest national companies in the United States start gearing up for importing and exporting. With it will come a better positioning in a future global market for cannabis.
This growth will open up an international approach to cannabis branding and marketing and show us what it might look like as more cannabrands reach a global scale and achieve international recognition.
Cannabis isn’t the only industry that’s booming right now. With it is the wellness market, which is currently measured in the trillions of dollars. Cannabis brands are leveraging their messaging to be more wellness-centric, promoting things like personal optimization to reach new prospective consumers.
Companies can use that familiar shorthand to introduce their products and tout their benefits because consumers are fairly well versed with the language and ethos of the supplement industry. We’ll see more cannabrands educating customers that are curious about cannabis products in the upcoming year. A prime example is how they can incorporate products like concentrates or tinctures into their self-improvement, wellness, and workout routines.
So, there you have it. Our top 12 predictions for the cannabis industry in 2022 show that there are exciting things ahead.. 2022 cannabis trends are favorable as we move towards federal legalization and, with it, uncharted territories.