For those who have been watching and participating, the dizzying first years of legal cannabis in countries like Canada and states like California have been a reminder of just how unpredictable the market for new products can be.
But as the dust begins to settle, a few things are becoming clear:
- The demand for cannabis products is strong
- Many countries are starting to see legalization as an attractive option
- Success in the cannabis industry relies on being able to operate within a complex regulatory framework
While it is hard to say what the cannabis industry will look like in 2030, it is almost certain that the following four factors will play a major role in shaping what is to come.
Since the late twentieth century, countries like the Netherlands have been experimenting with decriminalizing cannabis. But until 2018, no western country had taken the step of making cannabis legal for both medical and recreational use.
Canada’s decision to legalize cannabis, and the move to make cannabis use legal in a number of American states, has paved the way for many other countries to start liberalizing their cannabis laws. If this trend continues, cannabis could well become a global product by the end of the decade.
When Canada moved to legalize cannabis, e-commerce was an essential part of its plan. It is likely that, as other nations follow suit, most cannabis users will be encouraged to purchase their cannabis online.
This has already had an impact on how cannabis is produced and marketed, and there are already specialized programs designed to help handle cannabis e-commerce through tools like age verification software.
In all likelihood, the evolution of the cannabis market and the development of e-commerce will go hand-in-hand, providing a new model for 21st century consumption.
3. Cannabis Tech
In order to stay compliant with government regulations, cannabis producers need to collect and store vast amounts of data. This has led to the growth of a cannabis tech industry that helps cannabis producers track information and file regular reports on their operations.
For example, cannabis sale tracking software has played a major role in helping producers stay compliant with regulations in a variety of different jurisdictions. As these platforms become more established, it is likely they will continue to add more features to make the production and sale of cannabis even more seamless.
4. Product Innovation
Not so long ago, using cannabis meant smoking it as a cigarette or in a pipe. In recent years, innovations in the product design sphere have made it possible to ingest cannabis in a variety of different ways, including as an edible or through the medium of oil.
As the cannabis market grows, this trend toward expanding the number of cannabis products available is likely to grow exponentially, shaping how cannabis is used and marketed in the coming years.
For investors, producers, and consumers, the explosion of the cannabis market has created exciting opportunities. While it is impossible to say how exactly the cannabis industry will develop in the future, there is no question that it will be driven by the same innovations in tech, commerce, and product design that have made it such a dynamic market force.