The last decade has been an exciting time for the cannabis industry. Not only did the federal government make products derived from hemp legal in 2018, but state after state has voted to make marijuana legal (at least for medical use) within their borders. This new legalization has created an entire holistic industry of CBD and other hemp products. In addition, the COVID pandemic has given a huge boost to the marijuana business as well.
In 2020, Americans spent almost 18 billion dollars on legal marijuana. This is a 67% jump from 2019, and it is reported that 42% of cannabis users were either new users or increased their consumption in 2020. So the legalization of cannabis has indeed brought a huge industry to our country, and with that, trends are starting to develop in the market. We’re going to take a look at what we see are some of the most important cannabis market trends to take advantage of in 2022.
It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the stigma that has been long associated with cannabis, marijuana, and hemp is fading fast. Now, you can see articles covering marijuana usage in such mainstream magazines as The Wall Street Journal and Vogue. More and more, the average American is accepting the idea that taking an edible or vaping some THC is no more controversial than popping open a cold beer.
This acceptance of cannabis has increased to the point that 91% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized on a federal level. This acceptance has caused the market to grow so fast that the marketing research firm, Headset, had to update their original forecast of 28.3 billion in sales in 2020 to 30 billion because of the rapid additions of states legalizing marijuana.
The hippie stigma of marijuana and other cannabis products is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, forecasters see hemp-derived products becoming a large part of the holistic wellness market and marijuana as accepted and common to buy as alcohol.
Market Segments Expanding
The past few years have shown some trends in certain market segments for the usage of cannabis, and those markets are expected to continue to expand.
Generation Z (born late 1990s to mid-2000s)
This generation has not only grown up in the digital age, but they reached adulthood right around the time that states were legalizing marijuana, and the stigma was wearing off. Therefore, they are the first generation who grew up with cannabis being the norm. That has shown in that they are the largest cannabis consumers over any other generation. According to Headset, sales in 2020 of cannabis to Generation Z consumers spiked 127%. Compare that to sales among Millennials that rose 46% or Generation X that increased by 29%, and you can see that Gen Z is the hottest market out there.
Women represent a solid 33% of all cannabis users, and that number is seeing some growth. In comparison, their male counterparts purchase much more cannabis flower than women, the ladies like other forms such as tinctures, topicals, beverages, and vape pens. According to Akerna, women between 30 and 40 years old represent the most avid consumers of cannabis at 29.4%, followed closely by those under 30 at 27.35%. Older women in their 50s and 60s do enjoy their cannabis too, but they overwhelmingly prefer it in an edible form.
More and more, consumers who want to try THC or other cannabis products for the first time are turning to cannabis-infused beverages. In 2020, marijuana-infused beverage sales rose a whopping 40.3% in some of the major markets like Californian, Nevada, and Washington compared to the previous year. Overall, sales jumped from $67.8 million to $95.2 million in 2020.
Experts believe that this increase is because the consumer can get a buzz from these drinks in a much shorter time (10 to 15 minutes) than with an edible. It is also easy to micro-dose beverages to get to the right effect, which is very appealing to new users. In addition, many people are looking to cut down on alcohol to lead a healthier lifestyle, and marijuana-infused beverages are an extremely attractive alternative to mixed drinks and beer.
Opponents of the legalization of cannabis products based on medical benefits have always pointed to the lack of research to back their claims. Well, they will soon have no leg to stand on. Since 2010, nearly 23,000 scientific papers have been published about cannabis. More and more, researchers are proving the medical benefits of cannabis, and an increasing amount of funds are being poured into more research.
Forecasters believe this approval from the scientific community will lead to a scientifically supported classification system for cannabis compounds that will correlate indications and evidence-based effects more accurately. This is expected to lead to more mainstream acceptance of cannabis-based medical products into holistic and pharmaceutical arenas.
Brand Awareness and Loyalty
Currently, it’s pretty much the wild wild west out there for the cannabis market. The huge jump in sales of all things cannabis has brought an unprecedented number of distributors to the market, and each is grasping for its piece of the pie. As the market continues to grow, customers will start settling on their favorite products, and brand awareness and loyalty are going to grow. This will likely lead to a few companies becoming the “Johnson & Johnson” of the cannabis world. There will still be plenty of room for the little guy, but you are likely to see the rise of a few giants who will gain the lion’s share of brand awareness and be a recognized name to even those who do not partake of the herb.
The Hemp Doctor Is Keeping Up with the Trends
We are always keeping an eye out for the newest sales trends to pass the information along to our loyal retailers to help them grow their businesses. We are also one of the first wholesalers to supply retailers with the latest items like THC-O and HHC products. So if you aren’t already one of our many happy retailers, we invite you to contact us today to get started!