In the past decade, we have seen cannabis skyrocket from a market of slow decriminalization to a widespread legal industry of licensed suppliers and venues. It’s been an incredible rollercoaster of regulations with enough twists and turns to give any cannabis business owner a little whiplash. But here we are at the dawn of 2022, having weathered the packaging mandates, flavor restrictions, and reactive legislature to see the dawn of a glorious new era in the cannabis industry: a true growth of trends.
This year, the upcoming cannabis trends of 2022 are focusing on what the market is doing, not just the state legislatures. We’re seeing customer preferences and new technologies push the trends, and we couldn’t be happier. Let’s dive into what 2022 has in store for cannabis suppliers and venues.
No doubt you’ve heard the term “Delta 8” by now. This is the leading keyword of the latest trend in cannabis for non-legal states: Synthetic cannabinoids. Delta 8 is THC synthesized from hemp-based CBD. In other words, it started as legal non-psychoactive CBD from a <0.3% THC hemp plant but was then chemically altered to more closely resemble THC’s psychoactive compound.
Is it legal? Well, it’s not illegal, yet, and it has many “siblings” being developed in the lab seeking similar THC substitutes derived from potentially legal sources.
This is, of course, only the tip of the iceberg. Now that cannabinoids are being synthesized, we expect more than a little market upheaval in the near future.
Solvent-Free Concentrate Technologies
Speaking of new technologies in the cannabis lab, we are seeing increasing advancement and awareness of extraction methods. As the populace becomes more aware of how concentrates are made, there is more interest in solvent-free extraction and concentrate products. Techniques like vapor static extraction are moving to mirror and possibly replace butane extraction and other solvent-based processes.
The Rise of Terpene Awareness
Terpenes are seeing the spotlight as customers seek new ways to tell strains apart and hand-select their ideal cannabis experience. Many popular cannabis selling platforms like Dutchie are now featuring terpene percentages for each strain – if known – in the template of every product page.
As a result, terpene awareness and consideration for desired terpene balance are on the rise. Customers can now experiment with the “entourage effect” of different terpenes and strengths in addition to the balance of THC and CBD in each strain, crop, and product.
We are also seeing a rise in terpene focus even in the CBD-only markets, as the lesser cannabinoids feature heavily in spectrum products.
Uniquely Branded Strains
When the cannabis market began, seeds and strains were shared throughout the industry. Well-known strains like Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) were very common to see while specialty strains were the rarity. Now the ratio has flipped and specialty strains developed by local growers form the mass of dispensary inventories with a new flavor or special to try every month.
As growers gain more freedom, new and experimental strains are being developed and patented so that credit for the strain’s popularity will always make it back to the original creators. We are already seeing a rise in brand recognition for new specialty strains that impress and delight customers.
Cannabis Lounges and Experience Marketing
Last but certainly not least is our only legally driven trend: The opening of cannabis lounges and adult-only public venues. An increasing number of states are now legalizing public venues for social cannabis consumption. Canna-bars, lounges, and even restaurants will soon see the light of day. This will soon lead not only to an all-new type of cannabis business – but also a new focus on cannabis experience marketing.
We expect that strains and products developed for social venues will gain popularity in addition to current favorites finding their way into the canna-lounge experience.
2022 is looking to be a great year for the cannabis industry. With legalization gaining stability in legal states and momentum in developing legislation, we are finally seeing the freedom of the market to shape itself based on supplier innovations and consumer trends. For more insights into cannabis technology, trends, and business software, contact us today!