Many people feel legalization is around the corner, and money is starting to be put to work!
The cannabis excitement that pushed the latter half of 2020 to become the year of cannabis looks to continue in 2021. With a Democratic president coming into office, a Democratic House, and a Georgia runoff to see who controls the Senate on January 5th, investors are getting excited about the possibility of Federal cannabis legalization this year. Will the current marijuana industry trends continue into 2021? Or will we see a whole new set of ideas and marijuana trends? Investors are starting to make bets on who will be the winners and who will be the losers in the marijuana industry.
Popular Marijuana Trends – Mergers and Acquisitions
Firstly, mergers and acquisitions are all the rage as 2020 comes to a close. With big money starting to stake out a position in the cannabis space, we are seeing a plethora of $100 million SPAC funds, or special acquisition funds, set up in the cannabis and hemp space. These funds are basically blank checks for the manager to go and find good assets and stockpile them under one publicly traded umbrella. Bruce Linton, formerly of Canopy Growth, has a $150 million SPAC fund in the hemp space, and internet giant Weedmaps recently agreed to be acquired by a SPAC fund at a not-too-shabby $1.5 billion valuation. Add into the mix the “regular” type of mergers like Canadian behemoth Aphria and US-based Tilray, and you can start to see how consolidation is a key theme in the cannabis space to start 2021.
Appealing to the Masses – A Hint of THC
Another marijuana industry trend gaining momentum is the middle ground products that have high CBD and lower THC. These are starting to appeal to the mass consumers of Europe. Known as “floral hemp” or “diet weed” the new trend in cannabis products show people still want their CBD, but they do want a touch more THC than a hemp-based product is legally allowed to give you. The trends toward lower THC products that have less THC than straight-up marijuana, but more THC than hemp-based CBD products has, gives the user a full CBD dose and just a slightly higher buzz from the THC side. The consumer wants to feel the THC, but not get so high as to be able to not function.
Opportunities Galore – Marijuana Jobs On the Rise
Thirdly, the marijuana job market heats up as legalization gains steam, and jobs and tax revenue are at a premium in general after COVID-19. States and governments are desperate to create jobs and tax revenue due to the tremendous deficits created by the pandemic. With marijuana deemed an essential item during COVID and sales booming during a rough lockdown period, legislators are noticing high demand from the consumer during this distressing time. Sales taxes are also going to be needed to help replenish state coffers. Job growth will be a premium as the world recovers and with each now licensed cannabis company creating anywhere from 10 to 50 jobs, the movement to cannabis companies will continue to ramp up. Remember, that getting a job at a cannabis company does not just mean a budtender or low-level position, it can also mean CPAs, lawyers, logistics, growers, technicians, lab workers, extraction experts, and more.
Entering New Spaces: From medical marijuana market trends to eco-friendly solutions
Fourthly, as the medical marijuana market is on the rise and more people are turning to cannabis to reduce stress and overcome medical issues, trends such as the eco-friendly movement are also predicted to gain steam in 2021. As consumers become more conscious of the positive benefits of marijuana, cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes alike will continue to thrive.
And with more voices in the marijuana industry, the environmental impact of consumer actions will come under speculation. Many are becoming keener to learn more about how to dispose of plastic vape pens and cartridges, plastic cannabis bags and packages, and other items that industries have been producing for years. Cannabis vape cartridges, known as the “new cigarette butt”, are recycled with plastics, and cannabis packaging companies are now making an effort to minimize excessive waste in the products and packaging. With the industry already under intense scrutiny, cannabis brands and companies will really be under the magnifying glass for how they handle recycling, safety for kids, and security around their retail outlets. The transition to full legalization will draw out critics so all eyes will be on the small things the industry can do to make a good impression.