The legal cannabis industry is quickly becoming a booming market. As more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana, focus on cannabis commercialization has been growing every day. According to market projections, America’s legal market topped $6.5 billion in 2016 and is projected to grow up to $24 billion by 2025.
While clear data-driven insights into consumers and the commercial uptake of cannabis products have been elusive, there’s no doubt that more companies are venturing into this new market. As the legal cannabis market matures, consumers are expected to enjoy more product options, delivery methods, and changing dynamics in branding.
Cannabis Products on the Rise
With a growing market and a widening demographic that is taking more interest in medical and recreational products, more companies within and outside the industry are joining the legal cannabis market. Just a few years back, when states like Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana, finding a reliable marijuana delivery service was hard. Today, there is a growing number of online delivery and consultation services that make accessibility to marijuana much easier.Companies are now selling products ranging from marijuana cupcakes and cookies to sodas and gummy bears. With the rising consumer influence, better delivery services, and smart branding, companies are now able to target a wider market, but not without facing challenges from anti-cannabis activists and the potential problems related to uncontrolled use.
There are a variety of ways you can get high — more than there used to be. Some of the popular weed products available for purchase include:
Dry Herb Flower
The traditional marijuana buds remain the most popular product among cannabis consumers, but the trend is changing fast. flower form of weed is popular because that is what’s been around for the longest and people are used to it. It is also good to know what you’re getting. Since you can test for specific strains potency, this is a much better way for beginners to try it out. Marijuana buds can also change characteristics from the plants specific genotype and phenotypes.
Marijuana infused products comprise of one of the fastest growing sectors in the marijuana industry. This is what many companies are capitalizing for many reasons. Many people don’t like smoking and this is what turns them off from weed in general. A lot of medicinal patients also cant smoke because of illnesses in the throat or lungs. Edibles are a sure way to enjoy your medicine without any smoking.
Pre-rolled joints are super easy to use. It is an already rolled up joint that you get from the dispensary store. They usually come in a cone shape that is wider at the tip and gets thinner as you get closer to finishing it. Even the cheapest pre-roll can get the job done.
Marijuana concentrates are the fastest growing sector of this field. They are by far the most potent by THC percentage. Concentrates include oils, dabs, hash, shatter, wax, crumble and more. These are all names for the different forms they come in. They are in different forms from the different ways they are created. Some forms and strains can get your oils above 95% THC.
Weed vape pens are the next biggest product to grow from cannabis related consumption methods. These are typically used to consume THC concentrates that have been emulsified with the appropriate e-liquids. There are also herbal vaporizers that are used to heat your dry herbs or wax to a specific temperature.
Cannabis-infused drinks are particularly popular with younger consumers. They are gaining popularity recently. It’s super simple to use. Just drink it and wait for the effects to kick in.
Tinctures and Sublinguals
Tinctures are easy to use and super discreet. You can find both options available for both medicinal or recreational use.
These are cannabis infused oils, lotions, and balms.
Preferred by those who want to create their own DIY cannabis infusions.
Multi-item Gift sets
Known as ‘stoner gifts’, they include a few different pot-related items.
Consumers are Spending More
With stronger demand for quality edibles and concentrates, consumers are spending even more on marijuana. Almost all states that have legalized medical and recreational cannabis have recorded steady tax revenues. This demand for these products is what’s drawing more companies into the market. With a willingness to try new products, consumers have influenced a growing commercial interest in the cannabis market.
Research based data from a top Colorado-based retail marketing platform used by more than 300 medical marijuana dispensaries and retail shops shows that consumer behavior has been changing gradually. The research also shows that medical cannabis patients are purchasing larger quantities of the same product, while recreational users purchase smaller quantities more frequently. This way they can sample the different strains and products on the market and medicinal users generally find the right strain that they need to help with their specific ailments.
Pot-related Holidays Affecting Financial Gains
April 20 or 420
has long been accepted as the unofficial marijuana holiday. The powerful symbolism behind this self-declared holiday for pot lovers has been providing an opportunity for supporters and activists of cannabis to spread the word. Even during times of prohibition, it has given people a reason to come together.
If you can’t wait until next year to celebrate the significant 4/20 holiday, there are other days companies are hoping to capitalize on over the year.
CBD Day – February 1st
CBD holds great promises for developing the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Specially bred strains are being sought after and research for their medical benefits and properties. February 1st serves as a celebration of CBD.
Jack Herer’s Birthday – June 18th
This ‘holiday’ commemorates the hard work, effort, and energy that Jack Herer, a renowned cannabis activist put into advocating for legalization as one of nature’s valuable resources. To honor this day, you can purchase several products named after him.
Oil and Concentrates Day (720) – July 10th
Cannabis cartridges, concentrates, and dabs have become more popular. Coined the 720 holiday, July 10th is quickly becoming the day to celebrate cannabis oils and concentrates. Flip 720 upside down and it reads ‘OIL’ — making this a most appropriate date to celebrate waxes and concentrates.
If you love vaping marijuana, this holiday offers you an opportunity to dab your favorite concentrates with your friends and also celebrate the developments made in hash-making technologies that modern marijuana laws are encouraging.
Commemorate the Victims of Prohibition – October 5th
The United States enacted the Marijuana Tax Stamp Bill back in October 2nd, 1937, effectively outlawing marijuana. Three days later, the Denver Police and FBI arrested Moses Baca and Samuel R. Caldwell, both considered the first convicts of selling and possessing marijuana. This day remembers them, and the families distressed by cannabis prohibition.
Legalization Day – November 6th
November 6th, 2012 is the day that opened the door for legal, adult access to cannabis in U.S. The States of Colorado and Washington passed recreational marijuana laws recognizing this as a regulated industry. This day celebrates the momentous turnaround that sparked many reactions about drug reforms.
Holidays like these have gotten the attention of consumers, but also many companies with an interest in the cannabis commercialization opportunities that the industry offers. In the days leading up to these holidays, you are likely to see more companies creating branded marketing campaigns that target consumers with a variety of products.
Cautious Use of Marketing Slogans
Although legal products have been around for some time, many companies joining the market are still hesitant on using cannabis-friendly slogans in their marijuana marketing campaigns. Considering that marijuana commercialization has attracted businesses in mass market sectors like foods & beverages, many of the big-name brands are feeling their way around weed oriented language.
It’s no secret that brands entering the legal market won’t even acknowledge the existence of pot holidays or directly mention marijuana in their marketing slogans. While it may seem unusual, these companies are treading carefully for fear of pushing away non-users of the plant.
While there is no doubt that such holidays offer great marketing opportunities for their main products, trying our new opportunities or ‘special markets’ as they call them, is something that many brands are considering as a new venture in pot-friendly states.
The bottom line is, with a really good spending demographic in this market, people are likely to see more brands come on board as commercialization of cannabis continues to grow. In the meantime, don’t expect branding to be black and white. Current ads are leaning towards the “nudge, nudge, wink, wink” style of advertising — relying on sly comedy to clue in watchers. Humor may carry the day, but most brands are cautious not to go too far. As the medical part of the industry continues to grow, there is the danger that it will lean towards the marketing trend of alcohol and tobacco. They have done this by using sex as a selling tool for their brands. This will most likely lead to over-sexualization of cannabis in ads by big companies.
Cannabis-Themed Food Ads
Look at marketing slogans from brands like Subway, Burger King, or other food & beverage brands that sell products on pot-holidays. You’ll see a difference in their slogans. More and more brands are jumping on the cannabis holiday branding bandwagon to get a piece of the growing consumer market.
From billboard advertisements to ads on buses, the move has been daring, but the reaction has been promising, yet controversial. On one hand, it proves that mainstream brands are starting to take cannabis commercialization seriously, but on the other hand, the fact that big brands are willing to target consumers directly with bold statements and humorous slogans, highlights the uneven playing field for businesses.
Marijuana-themed ads have spurred numerous discussions in the market. They will continue doing so as brands get even more creative and bold with their consumer marketing strategies, backed by legalization. Cannabis commercialization is the new frontier. More companies will capitalize on the new market by appealing to marijuana consumers.
Changing Cannabis Consumer Demographics
A lot can be said about weed commercialization and its effects on the consumer market. Data from BDS Analytics, a leading cannabis market research firm shows changing demographics among cannabis consumers. The research is based on a comprehensive survey of adults in California and Colorado.
Data collected so far shows real differences between age groups, generations, men and women, attitudes towards the use of pot, and the preferred methods of consumption. How these demographics influence the overall cannabis consumer market is yet to be fully analyzed, but interest by companies in other industries has been on the rise.
Companies that deal with natural foods, alcohol, tobacco, and even pharmaceuticals want to learn more about the consumer. Understanding the lifestyle and demographics of cannabis users is becoming a crucial step towards gaining knowledge that could be incredibly helpful for companies within and outside the legal cannabis industry.
Cannabis Commercialization is Already Here
There is a consensus among marijuana consumer experts and branding companies that are changing consumer demographics. There is also the availability of credible data will have an impact in cannabis commercialization. While many think that the big changes are coming, the truth is that the commercialization of marijuana is already here and growing at a vast rate — just ask Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked, Phish Food, and Dave Matthews Band Magic Brownies ice cream or Taco Bell’s Fourth Meal.