For years on end, cannabis was under tough scrutiny from the public eye. It was perceived as a drug only befitting the scruffy hippies and misfits of society. But with the recent discovery of its vast medicinal potential, the misunderstood plant has finally had a chance to move out of the shadows and into the light on receiving a more mainstream acceptance.
Besides being known for alleviating side effects among cancer patients, research has associated cannabis with the treatment of a plethora of other conditions, including arthritis, depression, chronic pain, diabetes, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and migraines, just to mention a few. Because of this, countries all over the world are changing the policies surrounding cannabis. Scientists are also constantly exploring new ways of extracting and using the product.
Needless to say, the rising demand for the product inspired a multitude of manufacturers to jump on the growing industry. This growth has warranted a deeper look into the production of the commodity and trends surrounding it.
Market Report and Predicted Growth
As customers continue to become more knowledgeable of cannabis and its benefits, the market grows exponentially. In fact, in 2019 alone, the global cultivation market was valued at 123.9 billion dollars. Following this, financial forecasts predicted the figure to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14.3% between 2020 and 2027. Some experts claim that it can even go as high as growing by 130 million dollars per year in the not-so-distance future.
The major factor behind this was the worldwide liberation of laws surrounding hemp cultivation, with over 11 states legalizing the growth of marijuana in the USA alone. According to reports, the period following the legalization saw a significant increase in the number of patients.
This demand also stretches to other sectors, including cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and the food and beverage industry.
More Variations of Infused Cannabis Products
CBD is what is mainly used in medicinal applications because of its low toxicity levels and non-psychotic effect. Because of this, CBD products can be legally sold in almost all 50 states in the USA.
On the other hand, while THC is mainly related to the plant’s recreational aspect, it is also medicinally used to reduce the side effects of treating some diseases like cancer and AIDS. THC and its infused products can only be sold through state-licensed marijuana retailers.
Other than smoking, new ways are coming up each day of administering the derivatives. These typically include oral solutions, vaporizers, capsules, and topicals. But perhaps what most patients gravitate towards are edibles.
Currently, sweets, cookies, and gummies are the leading go-to in the edible realm. However, more companies are now trying to incorporate healthier product options. This means you can expect to see cannabis-infused edibles with less sugar and fats as well as gluten-free, vegan, and organic variations of the same.
Cannabis-infused drinks are also finding their way into the limelight. To recreate the success of White Claw, companies are introducing CBD or THC infused seltzers. Brands like Phyx, Oh Hi, Mountjoy Sparkling, and Creative Waters are jumping in and daring to explore the niche. The biggest challenge for them will be to create a distinguishable product and brand that can compete in the market.
The Biggest Challenge to Medical Cannabis Manufacturers
Besides finding a way to grow enough high-quality cannabis to satisfy the quick-growing market while keeping costs low to maintain a competitive advantage, the biggest challenge for cannabis companies will continue to be remaining compliant with government regulations. For example, in the USA, products are required to be externally tested before being sent out to market. Cannabis manufacturers are no exception. They have to ensure that their cannabis is free of bacteria, heavy metals, and about 96 different types of pesticides before it can be legally approved for sale.
Like other consumables, the labels on the products should also show their specific nutritional information. Thus, you can also expect to see independent testing labs coming up to assist the manufacturers in meeting these requirements.
It is important to note that these restrictions vary in different states and countries, depending on their regulations. In fact, some countries only legalized medical cannabis under certain conditions, whereby it can only be administered to a particular list of patients and diseases. Additionally, laws and restrictions are constantly changing, so companies need to keep up with requirements.
However, as legalization increases, chances are there will be significant changes in the laws about the processing, distribution, and use of cannabis products. Technology will also play a huge role as more states and countries legalize marijuana in the near future. For instance, technologies such as blockchain and machine learning will be used in tracking, payment, and other processing logistics of CBD products. Expect to see robots being developed to help in cannabis trimming and other regulated innovations.
To learn more about the latest cannabis trends, contact us at MaxQ Technologies, Inc.