The cannabis market grew a substantial 30% in 2016 to total $6.7 billion, and it is even projected to grow to $20.2 billion within the next five years. With the growing number of countries legalizing marijuana, the substantial growth of the cannabis market is not that surprising. What is worth looking into is to identify what could be the possible drivers that will push the market’s growth. Here are a few suggestions.
Inroads in Medical Marijuana Research and Development
Medical marijuana currently accounts for about 67% of the total cannabis market. This segment will continue to dominate and drive the total market’s growth as the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) continues to approve cannabinoid-based drugs to treat severe medical illnesses and conditions. Apart from product breakthroughs, the potential number of patients who will wish to subscribe to a medical marijuana-based treatment plan can likewise sustain market growth as more states in the US and other countries push to legalize ingesting marijuana for medical purposes.
Easy Access from Legal Sources
Exponential market growth will come as the distribution channels for marijuana continue to multiply. Marijuana is accessible legally only from authorized dispensaries. In the eight states in the USA where recreational marijuana use is legal, the states of California and Maine still have to open dispensaries. As the states open up restrictions on consumption rates, creative innovations in legal distribution channels (like boutique-style dispensaries) will tickle this need and spur growth.
Emerging Product Variants
Marijuana is traditionally smoked from a joint, which contains dried cannabis flower buds rolled into a stick made of rolling paper. Investors and start-ups in the cannabis market are constantly coming up with new ways to enjoy and ingest marijuana. One such product is the slim and fancy-looking vaporizer or “vape pen.” “Vaping” uses vaporizing technology packed in a small and slim pen-like mechanism that makes ingesting marijuana stylishly discreet and healthier compared to smoking a joint.
Another innovative approach is packaging marijuana to appeal to an upscale consumer base. Products are packaged to tell a story, like focusing on the quality of the weed, offering a variety sampler, etc. Triggers and appeals like “organic,” “select,” and “craft” will help to boost sales through “snob appeal,” which alludes to an air of exclusivity and premium pricing.
Innovations in Growing and Processing
Entrepreneurs in the cannabis market are looking into new ways of improving existing practices. There are entrepreneurs developing products that apply smart agriculture methods like hydroponics to grow cannabis at home. Cultivars are being developed that would make a plant produce more CBD rather than THC. Processes and technology in improving the decarboxylation process of isolating the active ingredients THC and CBD are continuously being studied. Think tanks are constantly experimenting on alternative ways to deliver medical marijuana apart from the usual pill or capsule.
With a remarkable growth forecast expected in the short term, the cannabis market continues to thrive. New concepts are constantly being tested to find innovative ways to fill in consumer needs, whether it is the research for efficacy when using cannabis as medicine or in novel ways to develop a marijuana brand that is relevant to the lifestyle of today’s consumer.