What Experts Predict As The Next "Big Thing" In Cannabis

January 19, 2022

The cannabis industry is rapidly evolving, and although no one can predict what will happen next, these industry experts share informed insights that will surprise and amaze you.

In this article we pull back the curtain to see what cannabis experts predict as the next big thing on the cannabis horizon.

The spotlight on less mainstream cannabinoids.

Several experts in the field predict that we will begin to explore, market and enjoy parts of the plant that were previously not so mainstream. This prediction also branches into advancements in science, extraction, and consumer curiosity.

Currently the most popular part of the plant to consumers is the flower, also known as the buds, or "bud". Within that part of the plant you find the most common chemical compounds on the market such as cannabinoids and terpenes that get you high or offer health benefits. However there are around 6-8 fully chemically distinct cannabinoids, and each of these cannabinoids has unique properties that can be extracted, explored and enjoyed for consumer consumption.

THC and CBD will remain on top of everyone’s list, but experts predict that 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:

  • Cannabigerol (CBG)
  • Cannabinol (CBN)
  • Tetrahydrocannabiphorol (THCP)
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol-O-acetate (THC-O)
  • Delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

These compounds, that can be used to achieve new highs and treat various conditions, will be continuously studied to determine their specific benefits. 

I believe it will be the use of different types of cannabinoids such as CBN, CBG, CBC, etc.
-Israel Guillen, Co-Founder, Director of Compliance, The Bird Rock Group

As you dig deeper into the anatomy of the plant you discover that much of this magic plant is left out of the mainstream media spotlight. Each part of the plant boasts unique compounds with unique benefits. Something experts are excited to see evolve within the space.

Image credit: Frontiers in Plant Science

I think having more curated products will be a thing of the future based on what effect the customer is looking for. As we do more science around the plant our knowledge about what it can truly do will only increase.
Trevor Christiansen, Business Development Manager, Onsharp

As science continues to develop, and extraction and cultivation methods become increasingly sophisticated, it is predicted that the quality, safety, and predictability of cannabis products will also continue to evolve.

I predict increased quality and safety of consumables.
-Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, CEO, The Blinc Group, Inc

More accessible distribution channels.

In November, 2021, the ride and food delivery service Uber launched a pilot program in Ontario to add Cannabis to their menu for easy orders and in-store pick up's.

Although at this time Uber won't be delivering cannabis directly, direct to consumer channels and Uber delivery are predictions that are likely to be coming down the pipe. Read more about Uber Cannabis partnership here.

I predict Uber cannabis delivery.
Brytany Melville, Founder & Cannabis  Retail Consultant, The Grown Group

Consumption lounges and growth

An exciting development on the forefront of the industry 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.

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.

Expansion and scale!
Zachary Gordon, CPA, Grassi


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.

I predict more lounges and cafes.
Shagwhelin “Shaggy” Bullock , Education & Marketing, Shagwhelin’s Way

Growth in unexpected ancillary sectors and markets.

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.

In an interesting development, a recent article by forbes explored the phenomenon of the rise of ‘Digital Marijuana’. That is the selling of digital marijuana as blockchain-based NFTs.  Would you buy a a bag of digital marijuana?

The rise of cannabis within sports and NFT's
- Shahbazz Kara-Virani, Dutchie

Broader branding and marketing efforts.

As the market expands across sectors, 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.

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.

Other ancillary companies such as cannabis marketing, cannatech, retail and more will also continue to grow.

More large scale marketing and brand resulting in less purchasing based on budtender recommendation.
- Dustin Smalley, Co Founder, The Bird Rock Group

Legal updates in cannabis.

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

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.

Decriminalization or legalization of cannabis.
Zeta Ceti, CEO, Green Rush Consulting

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.

Industry secrets, revealed in the full report.

It may be no secret that the cannabis industry is growing quickly, and is full of unpredictable twists and turns. That's why we connected with 24 of the top cannabis industry experts across North America to learn their thoughts on how to succeed in the industry, and where it's headed.  Download the report below to get the full scoop.

cannabis industry experts

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January 2022


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