The cannabis industry stands at the precipice of a transformative era, but the echoes of prohibition persist. In their comprehensive report, “Cannabis Trends in 2023: Products, Consumers, and the Impact of Prohibition on the Industry,” New Frontier Data uncovers the profound influence of prohibition that still resonates today. Join us as we explore the latest trends, revealing how businesses can navigate regulatory challenges and reshape public perception to pave the way for success in this dynamic landscape.
Profound Impact of Prohibition: According to Gary Allen, the CEO of New Frontier Data, cannabis prohibition continues to have a profound impact on every aspect of the cannabis industry. Despite the increasing number of states legalizing cannabis and the normalization of consumption, prohibition has significantly influenced the cannabis narrative. To set the record straight, the industry must confront the consequences of prohibition while meeting the evolving needs of modern cannabis consumers.
Product Preferences: Due to prohibition, many cannabis consumers still associate potency with quality and default to flower as their product of choice. However, younger consumers who have grown up with regulated access are seeking a wider variety of cannabis products.
Potency and Effect: In regulated markets, potency and effect remain crucial factors in consumers’ product purchase decisions. Manufactured products that offer standardized dosing, predictable effects, and lower dose options are meeting the demands of consumers.
Equity Programs: States are now shifting their approach to equity programs. Instead of relying solely on fee waivers and early access to licensing, they are providing technical assistance and education to equity applicants and businesses. The goal is not only to bring equity businesses into the industry but also to support their long-term success.
Cannabis Lounges: Cannabis lounges are addressing concerns related to inappropriate consumption, public health and safety, and catering to the emerging cannabis tourism market. While most consumers currently use cannabis alone and remain at home during and after consumption, there is a high interest in participating in cannabis activities outside the home.
Hemp-Derived Cannabinoids: Hemp-derived cannabinoids, such as Delta-8 THC, are more commonly known and used in illicit markets due to limited access to natural, regulated cannabis products. In legal markets, consumers are less likely to consume them, emphasizing the impact of legalization in providing access to a safe supply of regulated products. This finding demonstrates that prohibition does not deter people from seeking and accessing intoxicating products.
As the cannabis industry continues to evolve, it is crucial to acknowledge the ongoing influence of cannabis prohibition. By addressing the legacy of prohibition head-on and focusing on the needs of modern consumers, businesses can navigate the challenges posed by regulations and public perception and make informed decisions to ensure the success of their businesses.