A lot of things have happened in the cannabis industry throughout the course of this year 2019. As the year draws to a close, it’s that time of the year when we look back at the hottest topics throughout the course of the year. 2019 has sure been an interesting year with a lot of trending topics. We take a quick run through the year with the hottest topics in the cannabis industry.
January – Baby Boomers, the Aging Consumer.
For a long time, cannabis have been associated with youths. This isn’t wrong as many of the active consumers of cannabis are in their 20s. But there are many other users that are of the older generations. These include baby boomers. This is a growing segment of the cannabis users and they don’t fit very neatly into the box.
Young cannabis users tend to take cannabis for the fun of it, but boomers mostly take it for medical reasons. Most boomers, about 67% of them, take cannabis for the sake of their health and other medical reasons. Most boomers point out to body aches, pains and other medical issues as their reasons for consuming cannabis. Although there are many boomers who take it just to relax and feel good. As many of them have pointed out that it helps them to unwind and enjoy a good time. In the first quarter of 2019, about 62% of boomers consumed cannabis for health reasons in level 1 states.
February – The Rise of Social Consumption
There was an anticipation of the rise of cannabis social clubs that are legal in some markets before now. We saw this happen in 2019. Many cannabis users have said before that they enjoy taking cannabis alone in their homes. There are many others who have claimed that they take it only in small groups. There’s currently a large population of cannabis users who now take cannabis at public venues and in gatherings. In cities like Denver, Las Vegas and San Francisco, there have been more uses involved in public cannabis experience.
A large percentage of cannabis users in the US claim that they use cannabis for recreational and other social uses. Over 30% of users claim to consume it just before they meet with others. While 41% claim to use it for date nights and for daytime fun. Many legal cannabis clubs have emerged this year. Although, they’ve had to deal with regulatory issues in many cities
March – The Medicinal or Recreational CBD Debate.
This is a long-lasting debate, but it’s one that doesn’t matter anymore. Medical dispensaries are generally on the decline especially in places where they coexist with adult-use shops. This however doesn’t mean that people don’t use cannabis for medical reasons anymore. It’s just the business model that people prefer. There are more cannabis product available in the market today alongside an increase in cannabis education. This has led to the de-stigmatization of consumption of cannabis products and many more users now involve in taking cannabis both for recreational and medicinal purposes.
According to a survey, 64% of United States citizens already believe that there are medical benefits attached to cannabis consumption. 88% of people living in states where medical use or adult-sales is allowed also endorse it for medical purposes. Fewer people use it for singular purposes. Among those that use it for pain relief in level 1 states, 60% also indulge in it for social and recreational reasons. While 40% use it for both medical and recreational purpose.
April – Rise Of Cannabis Beverages
Nothing explains the rise in cannabis consumption more than a non-alcoholic cannabis beer. With the emergence of the cannabis beverage market, there are more options to consume cannabis. Cannabis beverage is probably the easiest and the most sociable way to consume cannabis.
In the second quarter of the year, beverages made a sale of $13.4M in the US edibles market. This makes up 6 of the total edibles market in the US. This follows a growing list of beverage brands in the market. As at the second quarter of 2019, there were 88 beverage brands in the market. With an increase of 19 brands from the second quarter of 2018. It is projected that by 2022, the US edibles market will reach a sale of $3.4 billion. It is estimated that by that time cannabis beverages will make sales up to $374 million, more than ten times the current figure.
There have been deliberations within the FDA as to the use of CBD as additives in drinks and food. The outcome of this deliberation will go a long way to determine the impact of cannabis
May – CBD Education
With the increasing popularity of CBD and cannabis product. People are developing more interest in this cannabinoid found in cannabis and hemp. Very much unlike THC, CBD doesn’t give the psychoactive effect that THC gives.
Products with CBD in them are becoming popular and more common by the day, with different goods and brands buying into it. There is also the popular discussion on whether it should be used as an additive or not. There are more people who know about CBD these days than before.
The passing of the farm bill in 2018, which legalizes the growing of cannabis that has 0.3% THC, is partly responsible for the recent rise in the popularity and use of CBD. 56% of cannabis users in the US, say they don’t know the difference between the effects of THC and CBD. Compare this with previous stats, you will realize that more people are getting to know more about CBD and cannabis products.
June – More Brands Are Solidified
There have been more sales in cannabis product this year. CBD market has grown meteorically and many brands have become very solidly rooted. A lot of sales have been made in different categories ranging from edibles to concentrates and to topicals. Many brands far and wide has lead the sales. By producing quality products, many brands have built a fan base that is loyal to their product. The key is, they delivered on their promised experience, both the physio and the psycho experience.
Within the dispensary sales, branded product hold on to their lead on sales. As more consumers recognize these products and the strength of their market continues to increase, it is likely that they continue this trend.
In Colorado, 95% of the ingestibles market was full of branded products in the second quarter of this year. That is two percent more from the second quarter of 2018. In the category, the leading ingestibles brand took up 22% of all the sales while the closest competitor took up 11% of the ingestibles market.
July – Declining Prices
Perhaps surprisingly, the prices of many cannabis products in the market keep declining. There are a lot of reason that we can attribute to this decline in price. But the most likely one is that the price of the product largely determines consumer choice. You can’t be surprised by this though, most users would settle for a product that they can afford.
Products that offer premium prices also make their sales no doubt. But the best way to build a large, strong and loyal customer base is to ensure that the product is affordable for them.
In Oregon, the average of price of flower has reduced to $3.84 in June 2019. As at January 2016, it was as high as $9.28. Between the first quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2019, the average price of flower in Colorado has reduced by 44%. While the average price of concentrates has reduces by 26%. Things are quite different is California though. The price of flower only reduced by 3%. While the average price for concentrates and ingestibles increased by 23 and 33 percent respectively.
August – Customers Want Convenience
In the cannabis market, all the customers are after seem to be convenience. Before they venture into buying a product, the consumers crave for convenience. They don’t just want to be convenient when buying, they want to be convenient when consuming also. This clamor for convenience is more common among users that are new to cannabis consumption.
67% of users who shop in dispensaries have identified a convenient location as being very vital to their shopping. Over 50% of the users also claim that one of their top factors in determining whether to buy a product is the form of consumption. Delivery of the product is also a key factor in today’s market, just like with other products and services.
In the world today, convenience of the consumers is key to a successful business model. This is the same with the cannabis industry. The consumers are not just look to consume the product, they want to be convenient while doing so.
September – The Customer Core
Companies and brand that placed their focus on their customer base are bound to flourish. Although there are a lot of customers now flooding the products and a lot of new brands and companies providing competition for themselves, those that have flourished are those ones that place their core on their customers.
It is important for the companies to understand who their core customers are. This includes the discerning consumers. These are the cannabis enthusiasts that have experimented with different cannabis products. They understand the basic behind the cannabis science. It is important for these companies to focus their marketing on their core, even though mainstream consumers keep growing.
The discerning consumers are an important core of the consumer base. They are the early adopters, lead indicators and influencers. They take their time to know and understand details like terpenes, processing methods, packaging, growing methods etc. Companies that have paid
attention to these consumers have flourished more in 2019 and it is likely that this trend continues
October – Growth of Low Dose Products
In 2019, increasing number of cannabis users seem to pay more attention to the dosage. Users now care more about consistent dosing. They want to be able to control their experiences that they feel afterwards. There are still many consumers who stick to their “wild card’ dosage. But a larger population of consumers now prefer controlled dosage that meets up to the promise that’s set in their label.
43% of people consuming edibles now prefer to settle for the low-dose products. These are products that contain < 10mg of THC in each serving. Of the people consuming ingestibles in legal states, 54% now prefer to choose a product based on its CBD content. 58% of this 54% users prefer to buy products that don’t have THC in them at all or have a higher ratio of CBD to THC. 39% of consumers in legal states claim that manufacturers need more consistency in crafting their dosage. 43% users think that product label should have the intended effect in them, such as energy, relaxation, happiness etc.
November – CBD Legalization
Cannabis is already legal in many states and many activists are clamoring for it to be legalized in more states. In places like Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York, New Mexico, Minnesota and Rhode Island, there are moves being made for cannabis to be legalized. In Vermont, possession and cultivation of cannabis is already legalized. The next move is the legalization of dispensaries that sell cannabis to users for recreational purpose.
About 65% of the country supports the federal legalization of cannabis. More than in recent years, the public support for the legalization of cannabis is really high now. It is likely that more states will legalize cannabis. With the increase in CBD education among users in 2019. The public are becoming more knowledgeable about the potential benefits that cannabis and CBD offers the consumers. This has led to more public outcry for the legalization of cannabis in more states. Many states are moving towards decriminalizing marijuana or enacting medical marijuana bill. Passing these bills will definitely be the first steps to full legalization of cannabis.
December – Studies Into New Ways to Use Medical Marijuana
There are different researches currently ongoing into the different compounds that are in cannabis. It is said that there may be some of these compounds that have anti-cancer properties. Researchers don’t just think that these compounds have anti-cancer properties. They also believe that it may be possible for them to synthesize new compounds from these ones. There’s a possibility that these synthesized compounds will have stronger anti-cancer properties than the ones in natural cannabinoids.
There are many others that think that CBD have antibiotic effects. This means that they may be able to treat infections that are resistant to antibiotics. These researches may result in the creation of topical CBD creams with antibiotic properties. Bacteria do not seem to be CBD resistant. At least, they haven’t shown that over the years. So this might be a viable solution to anti-biotic resistant infections.
Other Trending Topics in the Cannabis Industry
This is becoming a more common trend among cannabis users. Some states have already legalized the home cultivation of cannabis. There really is no reason to not plant cannabis since it’s legal in your state. Many cannabis consumers gave themselves more to planting cannabis by themselves. The success of these users have led to more users becoming more interested in growing cannabis by themselves. This trend among users have come to stay with. There are already many sites that give prospective growers DIY tips on how to successfully cultivate different strains of cannabis.
With an increase in cannabis popularity and the clamor for its legalization in all states, users in fully legal state can enjoy their self-grown cannabis.
Availability of more cannabis product
It’s not just new cannabis product that is infiltrating the cannabis market, there are new cannabis strains being created. There’s a strong likelihood that the growth of cannabis-infused beverages and other cannabis products will become rapid. This has led to many more companies investing in cannabis products and the cannabis market. Many of the cannabis beverages are already being made by companies that are mainstay in the beverage and alcohol industry. For example, there are talks already that Coca-Cola might make a carbonated drink that has CBD in it. It is also said that Molson-Coors might also create a beverage with cannabis infused in it.
The federal legalization of CBD may result in some companies selling CBD edibles even though they are not originally a part of the cannabis industry. There’s likelihood that there will be more variety of CBD edibles in the market in coming months. But marijuana flower will still be the most popular form.
The year 2019 has surely been an eventful one in the cannabis industry. The many developments that happened this year leaves the mouth watering for what the year 2020 has in stock. Many of these trends are set to continue into the new year. So many of these developments are here to stay and we can expect to see them birth more fruit in the year 2020.