2020 has been anything but routine. Amidst all the changes and upheaval that came out of this year, the market continued to grow and a new future is falling into place for the cannabis industry. While businesses continue to adapt and evolve, we’re getting a clearer picture of what 2021 could look like.
Here’s what we expect to see in the coming year.
COVID’s Impact Will Continue
Whether it’s been a great year or a slump for your cannabis business, there’s no disputing that COVID-19 has impacted the cannabis industry. Delivery sales boomed during the lockdown while other businesses struggled through it. While we have yet to fully understand the pandemic’s effect, the consumer behaviors we’ve seen come out of it will likely continue through 2021.
Legalization Will Continue To Increase
With 5 new states legalizing cannabis in the 2020 election and a federal legalization bill introduced for the first time (and subsequently sidelined), this year has been a roller coaster for cannabis legalization. Despite these ups and downs, Americans unanimously passed all cannabis bills on the ballot this year and are working towards implementing them in the first quarter of 2021. The pressure is mounting with Mexico recently legalizing cannabis, joining Canada, suggesting that cannabis approval and legislation will continue to grow.
Product Variety Increases (And With It The Need For Testing)
Every year since Colorado first legalized recreational use product development has expanded. As a result, an increasing number of complex formulas have hit the market in oil, tincture and edible formats. Kitchens and business testing centers consistently put new, creative products into the market. As the types of products grow, so does the need for testing. Testing for edibles and other products are in place, but this laboratory processing and testing (and the demand for building new cannabis labs) should continue to increase.
Expansion Of Medical Marijuana Research
After the 2020 election, medical marijuana is now legal in 36 states. At this point, most Americans have access to it and there are no signs of this expansion slowing down any time soon. As states continue to develop medical marijuana programs, additional funding will likely be allocated to medical research to see how best to use medicinal cannabis.
New Cannabinoid Discovery & Promotion
It’s not all about THC & CBD, or at least it won’t be for long. Cannabinoid research is rapidly discovering new compounds and their properties. In 2020, two new cannabinoids were discovered and published in a report for Nature. One of these, the newly named THCP, is the only other known cannabis compound to have psychoactive effects (the other being THC). There’s little doubt that this discovery will have implications for how cannabinoids are studied and used in products moving forward.