So far, 2018 has been a huge year for the cannabis industry; but where is it all heading? In AxisWire’s 2018 Cannabis Trend Report, we take a look at some of the biggest developments in the cannabis industry so far this year and provide insight as to where the market trends suggest they will be headed.
Here’s a sneak peak:
Women in Cannabis
Women are gaining greater ground in the cannabis industry. Women hold approximately 27% of C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry. The last year has seen an explosion of industry organizations dedicated to advancing women in the industry, like IPW and Women Grow. There is also a growing number of women-owned cannabis brands, like Garden Society, as well as brands marketing specifically to women, such as Whoopi & Maya.
Bolstered by legal cannabis in Canada and by increasingly impotent federal enforcement in the United States, the number of cannabis companies going public is on the rise. Companies like Canopy Growth and Cronos Group have gone public on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, respectively. Additionally, several US companies are gearing up to go public in Canada; including Acreage Holdings, Dixie Brands Inc., and MJIC Inc.
Agricultural technology in the cannabis industry is set to see some big changes. Cannabis giants like Aurora and Canopy are starting to build massive grow operations and as such as are looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Cannabis growers are beginning to favor CMH lighting over LEDs and HPS lighting, primarily due to its low costs and high Color Rendering Index Score. Automation is also an avenue that cultivators are exploring to reduce costs, including cannabis trimming robots.
Welcome to Hollyweed
Hollywood is slowly becoming more comfortable with its relationship with cannabis. Encouraged by recreational cannabis becoming legal in California, there has been an upswell of celebrity cannabis brands; such as Montel Williams’ Lentiv. Likewise, there has been an increase in cannabis-related television shows, and award shows like the Academy Awards have started allowing cannabis gift bags.
Infused Cannabis Beverages
Beverages infused with cannabis stand to be the next big thing in the industry. Several large beer companies have already expressed interest in making craft cannabis beverages; including the brewing company Lagunitas. Independent cannabis companies have also begun to branch out into the world of cannabis beverages; including a number of cannabis-based wines, such as the new luxury brand coming to market SAKA.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Like other industries, cannabis has fallen head over heels for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Due to the disconnect between state and federal cannabis laws, some companies have resorted to launching Initial Coin Offerings as a way to raise money. Additionally, larger cannabis companies have begun to develop blockchain-based software systems to help manage seed-to-sale tracking as well as point-of-sale technology.
Cannabis’ newfound legality in Canada has led several cannabis companies to seek out international markets. A lack of infrastructure in medical cannabis markets, such as Germany, have presented an opportunity for cannabis companies to gain some short-term profit and some long-term benefits. By setting up in developing markets, larger cannabis companies have the chance to establish a footprint before local businesses even get off the ground.
Music Industry & Cannabis
A growing number of famous musicians are starting to stake a claim in the cannabis industry. Legends like Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson have launched their own cannabis brands, and business savvy rock stars like Gene Simmons have started to make investments in this growing industry. Some aspiring musicians are also hoping to make a name for themselves by using cannabis itself to spread awareness of their music.