Cannabis Market Forecast: 10 Top Trends

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Written by Joseph Okonofua on 02/14/2023.
Data Last Updated: 07/22/2024.

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The cannabis market has become one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years, and the trend is set to continue in 2023. With an increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, the market is poised for significant growth. Here are the 10 top cannabis industry trends expected to shape the cannabis market in 2023:

1. Influx of New Cannabis Infused Products

Influx of New Cannabis Infused Products

The cannabis market is expected to see a surge in product diversity in 2023, with new strains of marijuana likely to be developed by breeders and a wider variety of edibles and infused beverages expected to become available.

The beverage industry is also expected to enter the cannabis market, with companies such as Molson-Coors and Coca-Cola exploring the creation of cannabis-infused beverages. In addition, the federal legalization of CBD will likely lead to its increased availability in edibles and other products beyond the traditional cannabis industry. Despite these advancements, it is expected that the marijuana flower will remain the most popular form of the drug in the near future.

2. Rising Understanding and Awareness of the Therapeutic Benefits and Applications of Cannabis

Rising Understanding and Awareness of the Therapeutic Benefits and Applications of Cannabis

Congress passed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act in December, promoting research into cannabis’s medicinal uses and the development of FDA-approved drugs. As the medical community continues to delve into the therapeutic potential of cannabis, exciting new findings will definitely be emerging in 2023. Research has revealed that certain compounds found in the plant may hold anti-cancer properties, opening up avenues for further investigation. 

Additionally, the possibility of synthesizing new, even more potent anti-cancer compounds based on natural cannabinoids are being explored. Studies also suggest that CBD may be effective in treating antibiotic-resistant infections, which could lead to the development of CBD-infused topical creams with antibiotic properties. Unlike traditional antibiotics, bacteria do not seem to develop resistance to CBD over time. These developments are driving the continued exploration and discovery of the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

3. Revitalized Efforts at Cannabis Legalization

Revitalized Efforts at Cannabis Legalization

Federal reform efforts made incremental progress in 2022 with President Biden’s pardon of federal offenses of simple marijuana possession and request for a review of cannabis’s classification as a Schedule I drug

However, with no set deadline, the administrative review is unlikely to be completed in 2023. Federal legalization bills are expected to be re-introduced in 2023, with Maryland and Missouri experiencing victories in the 2022 election. Despite setbacks in conservative states, advocates and reformers remain hopeful for federal legalization with President Biden’s review of marijuana’s Schedule 1 classification.

4. More Consolidation in Key Marijuana markets

More Consolidation in Key Marijuana markets

The cannabis industry is expected to see more consolidation in 2023, with only the most cost-efficient players likely to survive. The cannabis industry, once perceived as recession-proof, is facing challenges in mature recreational markets, resulting in cost-cutting measures and employee layoffs. The saturation of younger markets such as Michigan and Massachusetts adds to the industry’s struggles. Mergers and acquisitions activity has slowed down, and with limited access to capital, the trend is expected to continue.

5. Delta-8 THC may continue to thrive unhindered

Delta-8 THC may continue to thrive unhindered

Delta-8 THC continues to be a thorn in the cannabis industry’s side, with nearly every state with legal marijuana markets implementing rules for it. Even states without legal marijuana markets saw the unregulated proliferation of delta-8 products, providing strong competition for licensed businesses. According to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp production, delta-8 THC derived from extracted CBD is legal as long as the hemp plant meets the legal definition of hemp. As no change to the law is expected, the delta-8 market is likely to persist, causing a major challenge for the cannabis industry.

6. More calls for the temporary prohibition of new licensing approval

More calls for the temporary prohibition of new licensing approval

As the cannabis industry continues to experience price compression and oversaturation in mature markets, with the addition of new cultivation capacity, the demand for moratoriums has grown stronger. Companies operating in states such as Colorado and Michigan are appealing to state regulators for intervention and are requesting the imposition of a moratorium on new licenses. If eventually approved, the effects of moratoriums on the cannabis market are uncertain.

7. Increased Celebrity involvement

Increased Celebrity involvement

As the cannabis industry evolves and expands, more celebrities are entering the space, both by launching their own cannabis brands and investing in existing ones. With names like Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Martha Stewart, Jay-Z, and Seth Rogen among those involved, this trend of high-profile involvement is expected to bring increased attention and legitimacy and drive innovation in the industry. In 2023, this trend is expected to continue as more celebrities seek to take advantage of the growing market and increasing acceptance of cannabis use. This increased celebrity involvement will play a major role in the continued growth and mainstreaming of the cannabis industry.

8. FDA may go tough on CBD

FDA may go tough on CBD

The year 2023 may be the time when the FDA provides clear rules for the regulation of CBD. Despite requests for regulation in the past four years, the agency has yet to give clear guidance. However, recent actions such as cracking down on companies illegally selling CBD products and hiring a cannabis expert suggest that the FDA is preparing to create a regulatory plan for CBD. The FDA has also warned companies illegally selling products with Delta-8 THC and CBD and plans to announce their plans for overseeing the industry soon, which could have a major impact.

9. Increased Acceptance of Cannabis

Increased Acceptance of Cannabis

The acceptance and integration of cannabis into daily life are expected to soar with the rise of sophisticated dispensary environments, immersive lounges, and event-based experiences. These elegantly designed spaces will attract a diverse and growing customer base and spur the creation of more inclusive and culturally diverse cannabis products, particularly in the realm of edibles and beverages. This trend is already apparent in places like New York and is expected to spread throughout North America as entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and ethnicities enter the industry.

10. Cannabis may become legal in Pennsylvania

Cannabis may become legal in Pennsylvania

The election of Josh Shapiro as Pennsylvania’s Governor-Elect has sparked hope for the legalization of cannabis in the state. There is a growing consensus among lawmakers in both the PA State House and Senate that cannabis (both medical and recreational) should be made legal, with a growing number of legislators across party lines supporting the effort. This shift in political sentiment has created a path forward for cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania and has made it a key issue for the incoming governor.

Table Showing Top Cannabis Market Trends for 2023

Trend

Description

Increased Cannabis Sales

Cannabis is now legal in many US states, resulting in the potential growth of the industry to as much as 130 million dollars per year.

Growing Legalization Movement

Legalization of cannabis is becoming more widespread, with public support for legalization at an all-time high. Activists aim to make it legal in more states, including Connecticut, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Rhode Island.

Slower Legalization in Some States

Some states are moving towards decriminalizing marijuana or enacting medical marijuana bills, which could act as stepping stones to full legalization.

More Cannabis Products

There will be more types of cannabis products available, including new strains, cannabis-infused beverages, and edibles with a wider variety.

Diverse Customer Base

The customer base will become more diverse, with a mix of older customers, more female customers, and both recreational and medicinal users.

Range in Spending

Customers will vary greatly in terms of how much they spend on marijuana, with the average being between $25 and $50 per visit.

Awareness of Benefits

The public is becoming more aware of the health and wellness benefits of cannabis and its safety compared to alcohol.

Research on Medical Marijuana

Researchers are studying new uses for medical marijuana, including its anti-cancer properties and potential to treat antibiotic-resistant infections.

Awareness of Plant Compounds

People will become more familiar with the compounds in the cannabis plant, including THC, CBD, CBC, CBG, THCV, CBN, and terpenes.

Top 5 Cannabis Stocks to Consider for 2023

Top 5 Cannabis Stocks to Consider for 2023

  1. Aurora Cannabis (ACB)
  2. Organigram (OGI)
  3. Village Farms (VFF)
  4. Cresco Labs (CRLBF)
  5. Curaleaf (CURLF)

Conclusion

The cannabis industry is poised for continued growth in 2023 due to the increased legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use in more states. A lot is set to happen, all of which will reshape the cannabis industry for the future ahead. The rise of cannabis-infused products heightened awareness of its therapeutic benefits, and the push for legalization is fueling growth.

The industry is also expected to see some consolidation, with only the most cost-effective players expected to survive, but who knows? Celebrity involvement and cultural acceptance of cannabis may continue to drive growth and might turn out to be a savior.

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