Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the last few years, it’s impossible not to notice the rise of cannabis businesses trends in the United States.
As of writing this article, twenty-nine states have laws on the books regarding the legalization of medicinal or recreational use of cannabis, opening the markets in these states to skyrocketing market projections.
According to an Arcview market research report, marijuana sales in 2016 reached a peak of $6.7 billion in North America. These opportunities have sparked emerging trends in the cannabis industry creating new business niches from 420-friendly real estate to luxury cannabis brands like Snoop Dogg.
1 – Published Scientific Research
The first trend garnering attention nation-wide is giant moves in science. As of 2015, 22,000 published studies on cannabis emerged. This indicates a shedding of that “stoner” stigma, opening the gates to viewing cannabis as a medicine, with hundreds of applications to specific diseases. The prediction is that this research will compound and expand in the years to come as regulations become more relaxed.
2 – Legal Cultivation / Growing Industry
Cultivation has become a significant trend in states legalizing cannabis. Not only does cultivation direct those in agriculture to come up with better sustainability and water-management practices (bettering the environment in the process) but it has exploded the cannabis real estate industry as well. Investing in cannabis real estate has been lauded as the “Green Rush,” linking investment opportunities in this market to the glorious booms of the Gold Rush in California, projecting a $50 billion dollar total industry in the next 10 years. You read that right. $50 billion.
3 – Predictable Strains Like Craft Beer
If you live in California or Washington, you are familiar with how extremely popular craft beer has become. But are you ready for craft cannabis? Genetic engineering has eased the predictability of certain strains of cannabis, allowing some growers to release specific strains with all the pageantry of a release of craft beer. This paves a way for luxury brands of marijuana to hit the shelves in high end dispensaries. The opportunity to roll a luxury joint, with an organic gold rolling paper, with a craft strain of marijuana from prestigious Humboldt growers paints a very different picture of the consumer than what we are used to. One that stinks of money.
4 – Niche Software Development
Several states have mandated tracking laws for the plant from seed to sale, which has inspired the rising need for software development in the cannabis business. Every part of this industry will need to track and collect data on their products, opening up the need for specific software that can create data reports, and in turn sell that consumer research. Data collection is vital in this industry as it’s taking it’s baby steps into mainstream consumerism.
Will it be removed as a schedule 1 drug in 2018?
Historically, only alcohol has been taken from the black market and put back on the shelves, and some parallels can be made in both industry’s business practices. However, if it is removed, this will be the first time in United States history that a Schedule I drug will be made available for general consumption.
The process is fascinating and extremely exciting to watch from any point of view. Whether you are a consumer, an investor, a scientist or agriculturist, marijuana trends are ones to watch in 2018.
It is no longer a question of “if” cannabis will become legal, but a question of “how” and 2018 is looking like a major turning point for the new industry.