As more states and countries continue to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis use, one thing is clear: the cannabis industry is here to stay – and it’s rapidly growing. This new industry doesn’t just affect cannabis users – it affects countless markets. So, what’s to come in 2019, in terms of cannabis? Here are four key predictions for this year:
Cannabis-Infused Products Will Thrive
If you only think of dry leaf marijuana when you imagine cannabis, you are missing out on a ton of the market’s hottest products. Non-leaf CBD-infused items have a very high profit margin. Derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant, but without any psychoactive properties, hemp products infused with CBD are a great way to introduce cannabis to a larger crowd. Cannabis-infused beverages, in particular, are slated to be a huge hit in 2019, but other infused products include oils, beauty and skin care products, pain relief ointments, chocolates, nuts, gummies – and even dog treats. These alternative forms of cannabis are expected to spread across North America, thanks to the recently passed U.S. Farm Bill which legalized industrial hemp. Many of these products (minus the dog treats) also come in psychoactive THC-infused forms, and are experiencing widespread popularity, thanks to medical and recreational marijuana bills being passed in several states, as well as Canada’s recent legalization of recreational usage.
The Key Players Will Emerge
Until now, it’s been tricky figuring out who the top players will be in the cannabis industry. However, with consumer spending expected to jump 40% this year, those who are executing successful cannabis business plans should get a big boost this year as sales continue to grow. Strategy in this rapidly-expanding market will be key, and by the end of the year (or before), we should have a good idea of who the top dogs are. However, because interstate commerce is denied and it is currently difficult to create any sort of national brand, we will likely not see any nationwide dominators – yet. In the meantime, it will be of utmost importance for cannabis retailers to successfully promote themselves and maintain a tight business plan.
Legalization Will Continue
2018 was a big year for legalization – in fact, it was arguably the biggest one yet – and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. At least six more countries are slated to legalize medicinal marijuana usage, and at least one is expected to legalize recreational use. In terms of the U.S., at least three states have plans to legalize medicinal or recreational usage, with Illinois, New Jersey, and New York being the biggest possibilities. Even more traditionally-conservative states like Texas could change their current marijuana regulations.
(More) Research Will Be Conducted
Cannabis research has already been taking place, but it will pick up speed even more this year. Because of the more open regulatory environment, more research will be conducted, which is expected to spark even more innovation within the cannabis industry. The Farm Bill has opened the CBD market this year, and will support overall marijuana consumption, meaning more knowledge will soon be uncovered on each specific cannabinoid’s (the chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers) powers. For example, therapeutic uses include treating and managing obesity, anorexia, emesis, pain, multiple sclerosis, neuroprotection, inflammation, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, asthma, cardiovascular disorders, glaucoma, cancer, and more.