The days when shamans from ancient civilizations drew upon weed’s mind-opening potential to boost their premonitory powers are long gone. Today, even though stories of cannabis as a tool for clairvoyance are buried under piles of dust and forgotten lore, the situation calls again for insights into the future.
As expectations grow around Canada crossing the line to full legalization on October 17th, and the number of states welcoming recreational users rises; consumers, producers, retailers and investors are seeking the advice of industry leaders to shed some light upon the business’ unknown fate.
As we covered on a recent article, experts are having a hard time making up their minds around the industry’s growth potential for the upcoming decade. However uncertain these figures of growth might be, there are many gurus out there willing to share their opinion on other related aspects of the industry’s future.
According to Craig McLane, owner of Vaped, by 2030 cannabis will by fully legal all across North America and Europe. This will have a major impact in the industry as we know it, giving way to big businesses dominating most corners of the market.
However positive hopes might be for some industry players, today’s picture seems to show a different landscape. Nowadays, one of the main concerns circling the minds of business owners, is whether or not cannabis will leave the controlled substances act as a schedule 1 drug within the next few years, and become, once and for all, legal by federal law.
The biggest obstacle resulting from the current legislation is that businesses are often denied loans from banks. As a result, they are forced to operate as cash-only enterprises. This situation could soon change if the STATES bill is passed. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States does not universally legalize marijuana or remove it from the DEA’s list, however, it does leave states that decided to move forward on legal cannabis in the clear to operate legally without any federal restrains.
As Nugg co-founder, Alex Milligan points out, a market take-over by big players will benefit consumers, since a larger market allows for a drop in retail prices, but at the same time, it’s likely to bring many of the negative aspects of industrialization along, like improper uses of land and an overall negligence for the environment. As a result of this, the craft weed and homegrown communities will strengthen, taking an even larger portion of the market.
As covered on a previous report, Big Alcohol, Big Pharma, Big Tobacco and Soft-Drink giants have already set foot inside the industry. Still, there’s a chance for new giants to emerge and compete with the old players coming from other sectors.
Synthetic strains could gain popularity and dominate a large portion of the market by 2030. According to James Browne, founder of The Grow-Off, Scientist will be able to create synthetic weed able to achieve any desired effect and even surpass the plant’s natural limits.
As opposed to today’s synthetic cannabinoids like Spice or K2, notorious for causing a cascade of overdoses last year, international scientific research could bring new cannabinoids that can change the entire picture of lab-made weed.
According to Jay Currie, weed-specialized author and reporter, by 2030, weed products will be readily available at retail stores like Wallmart and 7/11. Though buzzes about these events becoming real earlier this year were rapidly denied, there’s nothing preventing big retail businesses from offering cannabis products once federal restrictions are a thing of the past.
Following federal legalization, a door will open for scientific research surrounding cannabis to flourish. That, together with scientific developments from other countries, and real-life evidence, will trigger a growth in the social acceptance of marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine and recreation. Today, we’re already at an all-time high, with of 64% the population supporting nationwide legalization. This number is bound to exponentially grow during the next few years, as people realize cannabis’ healing potential. According to Sara Gullickson, CEO of Dispensary Permits, weed will change its status of a gateway drug, to become an exit drug, since its appliance in treating opioid addictions is becoming a more widely known phenomenon.
Large-scale production will push the automation of cultivation, as explained in a recent report by The Economist, following the path of most big agricultural industries. Technology will also accompany medical marijuana consumption, with the use of bio-sensors and machine learning applied to provide the perfect administration for every symptom, as predicted by Alex Milligan. Connectivity and technology will also conquer the world of retail, following the way of companies like WeedVR, which create virtual reality dispensaries, allowing people to get the retail experience from home.