It's finally here, the top 21 cannabis trends of 2021. And in an industry that is growing like a weed (ya we did) it's no surprise that there is a lot to talk about.
Let's dive in.
The cannabis industry is growing at an alarming pace. Following the decisions of various states in America to legalize cannabis, the industry is now attracting global attention.
This post analyzes current cannabis trends in 2021 to facilitate future predictions about the evolution of the industry.
If anything, the events of 2021 have taught us that the current advance and expansion of the legal cannabis market may turn out to be much bigger than expected.
These are the top 21 trends we have seen in 2021.
State legalization of cannabis in the United States has become a common phenomenon. This widespread activity will most definitely continue.
Predictions show that New Mexico, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and Virginia are the most probable states in America to move for the legalization of cannabis in the near future.
Of all these states, New York has been closest to the legalization of adult-use weed. However, this move was truncated in 2019 when the coronavirus (COVID-19) struck hard in New York. Other states likely to follow suit will be Connecticut and Virginia, given their reception to marijuana usage by their respective governments.
Another major 2021 cannabis trend has been increased sales.
Records show that cannabis sales have hit 1.3 billion in Canada, with the states being projected to surpass 24Billion. This is a growth of over 38% from 2020 sales. Numbers are projected to continue to grow, with projections reaching $47.6 Billion by 2026
Topping the list of fast product growth are CBD products, but why?
Cannabidiol (CBD) products are the new best cannabis stock. CBD products have been discovered to have no trace of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the substance that has the ability to get consumers high. Since this substance is absent in CBD products, investors find it more attractive to invest in them.
Experts are of the view that the cannabis market will potentially grow by $130 million annually based on current market trends.
Technology has advanced apace in 2021 and is transforming the cannabis market. According to Bill Gates, “the advance of technology is based on making it fit in so that you don't even notice it, so it's part of every day.”
The coronavirus pandemic has inspired remarkable improvements to the ways in which technology can streamline retail and online dispensaries.
Technology definitely tops the cannabis trends 2021. This is clear from the top 25 innovative cannabis products of 2021 publicized on the Cannabis and Tech Today website. Love it!
Seeing the trends in 2021, experts have expressed concern for the supply-demand relationship. Their prediction is that, by 2022, there will be an influx of new cannabis products that will come to be dominant.
As well as Cannabidiol (CBD) products, there is likely to be more cannabis-laced products in the market. Some of these products have a high chance of becoming popular, especially amongst major brands.
For instance, the move of Molson-Coors in considering the creation of beverages infused with cannabis is just a small example of how widely these products will spread. The likelihood of Coca-Cola also creating a carbonated drink containing CBD has also been rumoured.
The push by some United States pot industries for banking reform stems from their need to have access to basic financial services. The United States had previously designed and introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act which was supposed to authorize financial institutions to provide financial services to pot industries in cannabis legalized states.
This Act was designed to give credit unions and banks the freedom to finance pot industries without fear of federal prosecution. Although this Act was not passed in 2020, pot companies are still actively being funded, even if it has to be on a piecemeal basis.
The push for banking reform is pressing with respect to investment in marijuana real estate.
Undoubtedly, the pandemic has affected every sphere of the global economy. However, the period was also a major source of opportunity for the cannabis market.
COVID-19 gave rise to vigorous research into the use of cannabinoids (CBD) for combatting symptoms of the virus. This research is likely to spill over into 2022 and beyond. Predictably, the consumption of CBD rose significantly in 2021 as consumers sought to treat COVID-19 symptoms and anxieties.
As the terms of the lockdown became more stringent, more states in the United States approved the use of telemedicine services by medical cannabis patients. This development facilitated the acquisition of telemedicine companies by bigger pharmaceutical companies like Ehave, Pure Global Cannabis, and MGC Pharmaceuticals.
Social equity is a concept that supports fairness, equity, and justice in social policies.
With the legalization of cannabis, some marijuana advocacy groups have argued for the need to provide justice to those incarcerated in the past for the possession of cannabis, or other infractions connected with its use.
This has informed the efforts of the United States Federal and State Governments to do some balancing on what was previously applicable through social equity programs.
The state of California is a focus. There, social equity programs offer some kind of incentives to persons who were previously charged for drug-related offenses. This incentive allows them to become cannabis company owners at a minimal application rate alongside more liberal requirements for licensing.
This became a key cannabis trend in 2021 as the publicity about the medicinal properties of cannabis has heightened its use. Experts posit that the rising use of cannabis can also be traced to access to information.
With the acquisition of greater knowledge about cannabis, members of the public are attributing its use to ‘wellness’, and seeing it as a cure for anxiety, and a key element in maintaining a more organic lifestyle.
Currently, there’s a 140% increment in the percentage of cannabis first-time users. Even more striking, some 76% of doctors in the United States support the medical use of cannabis.
In 2021, the percentage of women purchasing cannabis rose to 33.6% of cannabis consumers. Who would have predicted this would be one of the cannabis trends in 2021?
In September 2021, Akerna, a cannabis software company, reported the following:
These rising figures of cannabis use by women has been attributed to their inclination to be attracted to well-packaged products.
The recent demand for cannabis is fueled by the legalization of cannabis in many states of America. In 2020, the New Frontier Data released a report to reveal the economic impact of cannabis, its rate of demand, and consumption using data analysis.
Some of the key findings of this study were:
This is also one of the cannabis trends in 2021 — cannabis is slowly becoming a norm in America, and many companies are taking cues and taking on titles as full-blown cannabis companies.
The influx of cannabinoid-infused products in the market has been a major channel of investment for mainstream companies. The Business and Defense Services Administration (BDSA) predicts that the cannabinoid market will be valued at $50 billion by 2025.
Soon enough, many more non-cannabis mainstream companies will evolve into cannabis companies— whether grudgingly or otherwise.
M&A is also a major part of the cannabis trends 2021. It has been identified as a tool for multi-state operators (MSOs) to expand their businesses in new state markets.
No doubt, M&A activities were down in 2019, but sprang up again in 2020 with a value of $1.5 billion and have been on a rise ever since.
In 2021 and beyond, BDSA envisages increased M&A activities to accelerate growth in the cannabis industry.
Before the series of technological innovations, the government made provisions for physical locations where cannabis can be purchased for medical and recreational use based on a doctor’s recommendation.
However, innovation and technology now make access easy. Over the past six years, the BDSA has identified new categories of cannabis such as nasal sprays, sublingual tablets, suppositories, water-soluble beverages, and inhalers.
Will innovation and technology hinder or promote the government-regulated dispensaries?
Although a previous trend identified innovation as being somewhat disruptive to dispensary channels, sales have been staggeringly good for the past twelve months and more.
In line with the strict regulations on medical cannabis, dispensary channels have remained compliant whilst still making an impact on market statistics.
Indoor cultivation of cannabis has to be the hottest of the cannabis trends in 2021. Crop steering is being used to optimize and maximize cannabis production.
In the past few years, this category of cannabis cultivators has been exploring several crop steering techniques to maintain cannabis plant balance. The goal of this trend is to commercialize cannabis as much as possible.
Cannabis producers and consumers maintain a level of communication in the cannabis market. This way, consumers can vote on what strains they prefer.
This feedback has informed cultivators, brands, and distributors of the upward demand for THC strains. This trend has also influenced the recent supply of THC in the cannabis market. Can you predict what strain will be in high demand in 2022?
The high numbers in the cannabis industry point to a continuing upward trajectory in America. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota are the latest states to legalize marijuana, increasing the number of states using recreational cannabis from 11 to 15 (plus 3 territories).
The use of medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and 4 additional territories of the United States. With the projection made by the New Frontier Data, there will be even more numbers to defy public expectations by 2025. You can deduce from these statistics that cannabis is losing its stigma on a daily basis.
According to the US food and drug administration, medical cannabis has become a potent remedy for combating nausea, especially amongst cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Medications with tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol have been proven and approved for the treatment of these nausea symptoms. With the rise in cancer cases, the cannabis market is projected to have an 18.4% CAGR through 2027.
There has been a rise in the preference for applying lotions and creams directly on an injured area for quick effect. Topical administration of medical cannabis has served this purpose by bringing relief to injured patients.
Thankfully, topical administration of medical cannabis is fast replacing opioids and their serious side effects. Topical products on the other hand have been shown to exhibit limited side effects.
With the rising adoption of topical administration, this segment of the cannabis market is estimated to value $5 billion dollars by 2027.
The consumption of medical cannabis by South America has gone off the statistical radar. Chile alone is particularly known for its medical cannabis history - including their work in clinical trials since 2014.
Argentina on the other hand has legalized the cultivation of cannabis domestically. Following this, the medical cannabis regional market is estimated to expand by 20.9% CAGR through 2027.
This ends the list of cannabis trends 2021 in this article. The announcement by Amazon that employees will no longer be disqualified for the use of marijuana was a hugely important one. Amazon went even further by excluding marijuana from its drug screening program.
Considering Amazon’s market capitalization of $1.5 trillion, this inclusivity will be of tremendous effect to the cannabis industry. It goes even further — Amazon has indicated its support for the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (MORE) Act of 2021 and urges other employers to follow suit.
The growth of the cannabis industry is gaining strength because of high demand, technological innovations, and revolutionary reforms. The cannabis industry is becoming a center of attraction owing to its fast-paced growth. This feature continues to draw the attention of foreign investors in this sector.
In all these, one can attest that the top cannabis trends of 2021 are sure ways of predicting the cannabis industry outlook in 2022.