As we approach the new year, what does the landscape look like for flower, infused products, dispensaries, and more? Three industry experts share their thoughts.
Earlier this month, Women Grow hosted their signature Bay Area networking event at KIVA Confections in Oakland that brought together leaders in the cannabis industry. The roster of speakers was impressive, kicking off with an informative session on cannabis consumer research across the US presented by Tamar Maritz, BDS Analytics California Regional Director. If you are not familiar, BDS Analytics is the cannabis industry's leading marijuana market data and analytics resource. Their data is used to determine cannabis consumer insights across the industry much like Nielson for other consumable products.
Following the BDS presentation, Women Grow Founder & CEO Jazmin Hupp introduced the panel of experts who would lead the evening's discussion focused on infused products. Included in the group was Constance Finley, Founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics, Rhiannon Wallstedt Woo, Co-Founder of TraceTrust Partners, and Tamar Maritz of BDS Analytics.
During the panel, many important topics were covered including recent trends, the pros and cons of operating in the cannabis industry, and new products, but one the most fascinating discussions was focused on what factors will be different for businesses and consumers in 2018. Below are eight of their predictions for what's in store next year.
2018 Predictions for the Cannabis Industry
1. The Rise of Branded Products
As we enter 2018, consumers will see an increase in branded products, advertising, and other marketing efforts used to differentiate cannabis companies. More "normalized" brands such as well-known celebrity franchises, will enter the market with newly designed products.
2. Pre-Packaged Flower with Personalized Branding
The days of unbranded flower are long gone. In 2018, cannabis growers and companies will begin to brand their flower to help their products stand out in the dispensary. Brands such as Flow Kana have paved the way for pre-packaged flower. Consumers will be more attracted to personalized branding which in turn generates greater sales.
3. Supply Chain Transparency
2018 is all about transparency. To build and maintain trust, cannabis companies will proudly share who they partner with through the supply chain process. Growers will be recognized and distributing companies will be known. Transparency is key to normalizing cannabis.
4. Value-Added Packaging
With California's recreational use laws beginning in 2018, value-added packaging will be of utmost importance. Companies that include education in their branding will have a greater chance of securing curious "newbie" consumers who are experiencing cannabis for the first time or for those who haven't tried herbal products since their early days. Education is also extremely important for edible producers. Including information on safe dosing is a must.
5. Elevated Experiences at the Dispensary
With more and more dispensary licenses getting approved in the state of California, dispensaries will begin to offer a wider range of experiences for their members. Dispensaries will strive to elevate hospitality to attract new consumers. There will also be a rise of wellness centers, retreats, and therapeutic clinics that will offer high-end experiences.
6. The End of Poorly Made Products
2018 will be the end of poorly made products. With so much competition already flooding the cannabis market, only well-made products will succeed from companies that know how to do business.
7. More CBD Pet Food and Pet Treats
Next year will be a big year for CBD pet food and pet treats. As more and more pet owners discover the health benefits of hemp formulas, demand is growing fast. The industry will see a rise in companies that will offer wellness products for our furry friends. Treatibles will be a reliable benchmark for quality.
8. High Demand for Holistic & Wellness Products
Next year, there will also be an increased demand for holistic and wellness products. From shampoo, to body cream, to supplements, consumers will be able to enjoy a greater offering of goods that soothe the mind, body, and soul.
With 2018 just around the corner, it will be exciting to see if these predictions do come true. A special thanks to the panelists and Women Grow for facilitating this discussion. We are looking forward to an exciting year ahead!
Peace, Love & Cannabis,
The Herb Somm