Posted by DanaSmith via Cannabis.net
Every year, there are always so many exciting things to look forward to in the cannabis industry. This year is different. Because COVID-19 affected the industry in unexpected ways in 2020, having a new president in place, as well as the continued demand for various cannabis products, all contribute to an interesting time, to say the least.
There’s also the fact that more cannabis markets opened up in the Midwest last year, with more expected in the south. Cannabis is growing exponentially and the addition of more legal states means that the industry is going to have another massive year.
Here are the trends you can look out for in 2021:
“Minor” cannabinoids share the spotlight with THC and CBD: Though THC and CBD are the rockstars of cannabis, that’s not to say that there aren’t any other important cannabinoids. In fact, there are many other “minor” cannabinoids that should also be getting some attention.
This year, don’t be surprised to see the growth of cannabis products created specifically to highlight the benefits of other cannabinoids such as THCV, CBN, or CBG. Though these compounds aren’t as popular, many manufacturers are working to isolate them and produce tinctures, extracts, and even flower containing higher amounts of them. So the next time you visit your favorite dispensary, check out the menu and give some of these products a try.
Cannabis banking reform: Last November, Joe Biden defected Donald Trump as the next POTUS. And that could be great for cannabis. Throughout Trump’s presidency, he hardly touched state-level cannabis legalization issues though his attorney generals were clearly against cannabis.
Meanwhile, Biden pledged to decriminalize cannabis during his campaign, and it will be a huge success if he is able to do so at the federal level. Even being able to reschedule it from a Schedule 1 to Schedule II substance would be a big win because it would effectively reduce the numerous penalties associated with cannabis consumption.
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It would also be interesting if Biden’s presidency would pave the way for cannabis banking reform, which has long been an issue and obstacle for many cannabis businesses. It was the Democrats who proposed legislation in the past, which would enable financial institutions to offer their services to marijuana companies in legal states without them having to worry about repercussions with cannabis still a Schedule I substance on the federal level. Though all the news seems positive for cannabis banking reform, we have to wait and see if Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will allow the bill to get to the upper house for a vote.
Cannabis as mitigation for COVID-19 symptoms: A list of cannabis trends to look out for in 2021 would not be complete without mentioning the impact of the pandemic on the industry, and what it has led to. With around 16 groups proactively working on researching the effects of cannabinoids on fighting COVID-19 symptoms, we only expect the number of research with positive results to increase this year.
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We also expect more funding to be poured towards this project, most especially because cannabis services were considered an essential service not just in the United States but in Quebec and the Netherlands. It highlights the importance of cannabis use for patients around the world. Additionally, CBD consumption spiked last year, as people sought it out to keep their health and wellbeing in check during the pandemic as well as their mental health.
Artificial Intelligence in dispensaries: Automation and artificial intelligence in growing cannabis as well as in cannabis dispensary operations are seen to be on the rise. They have the potential to make growing cannabis much more efficient as they can be vital tools to assist growers in tracking almost everything from water and pH levels, and even plant genetics.
Dispensaries all around the country have already started making use of automation services and online ordering. While AI won’t be replacing budtenders any time soon, they can certainly make their job more efficient.
The rise of solventless extracts: Cannabis concentrates of all kinds have been growing in popularity, but last year, rosin rose to the top. This year, we expect solventless cannabis to get even more famous.
While solventless or live rosin in particular isn’t necessarily on the lower end of the price spectrum in dispensaries, you can easily justify the price because of its incredible quality – not just of the product, but of its effect, too. If you haven’t tried solventless extracts, we recommend doing so soon: you will be surprised at just how pure the flavors are, and many manufacturers are making them from high quality bud.
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Rosin and live resin in vapes: In 2019, vape cartridges got a bad rep after being notorious for causing ailments and even death from black market products. Sadly, the black market goods affected even legitimate products.
Because of this, in 2020 vape producers worked to fix their reputation in the market by providing customers with test results and transparent marketing. You can now be sure that for as long as you are buying vape products from legitimate producers that you are enjoying safe and good quality vapes.
Another interesting trend that we see is the rise of rosin and live resin to be used in vapes. Being able to vape these potent extracts makes it so much easier for consumers who are looking for discreet ways to medicate potent products. Having said that, we also expect vape producers to keep the focus on transparency on its safety and working only with high-quality ingredients and parts to successfully make it out of the 2019 vape crisis.