The Cannabis Industry Continued to Blossom in 2021

The cannabis industry has grown rapidly in the past few years. Forbes predicted that by 2020, almost $22 billion would be spent on legal marijuana sales. The cannabis industry continued to grow in 2021. Legalization efforts saw wins across the country, notably in New York and New Mexico. However, diversity, equity, and inclusion remain an issue in the growing market.

The cannabis industry has been making its way into the mainstream for quite some time, and it's expected that this trend will continue to grow in the coming years. A record 68% of American adults polled supported the legalization of marijuana.

Cannabis Industry Outlook 2022: What's next for cannabis?

The cannabis market is expected to continue its growth and reach $40 billion by the end of 2022, which will amount to a staggering 208% increase from 2020. According to Arcview Market Research, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are on track for $17 billion in sales by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of about 25%. Arcview also predicts that by 2022, Canada will overtake the U.S. as the biggest cannabis market in North America, with projected sales of $6 billion compared to $4.8 billion in the U.S. and $1 billion in Mexico.

4 Expert Predictions for Cannabis and Hemp in 2022

Jake Kuczeruk: "This is the year of DTC (direct to customer)."

Jake Kuczeruk is the Strategic Advisor for Arcview Consulting. Around this time last year, cannabis industry research giant The Arcview Group extended their work to create a new entity, Arcview Management Consulting. This new practice was designed to enable Arcview to continue developing and implementing strategies for international organizations across the private, public, and social sectors to create change that matters.

"2022 will likely yield more of the same - a frenzy of M&A activity, more mixed messages from the federal government, expansion of beverage, etc. I'm still optimistic it'll be the year that we start to see real movement to address flawed policies and tax schemes that have been inhibiting the growth of this industry. We're going to probably lose a least a third of our existing operators. The declining price per pound is causing a cultivation pullback, capital around CBD plays has started to dry up, and brands must innovate or die. Simply put, this is the year of DTC (direct to customer). "

Laura Albers: "The opportunity to enjoy cannabis in normalized settings will further close the mainstream divide."

Laura Albers is Co-Founder + CEO of Oasis. She brings 15 years of marketing and advertising experience, brand strategy, and market research. She's worked with some of the world's biggest brands and has been specializing in the cannabis and hemp industry since 2017. Oasis Intelligence specializes in consumer insights & data analytics, representing the voice of consumers. They work with human-centric cannabis and hemp companies from MSOs to leaders in CBD to understand what people want and need down to a very local level. Their new Retail Location & Specialization tool is helping brands, and dispensary retailers get to know who their local customers are and map out where they live, work and play via anonymized mobile data.

"This can inform how brands create marketing and e-comm initiatives, partnerships and, local events that are sure to resonate and drive sales. Importantly by paying attention to people's shopping wants and needs, brands and retailers can better serve their communities and create loyal customers. In 2022 cannabis will take another step closer to mainstreaming throughout the U.S. While federal legalization is unlikely, more states will be opening up and anticipating excitement across the northeast, particularly in New York, as they are readying for adult use.

Cannabis beverage popularity will continue to grow. We all love a good social moment with a bevy. As cannabis drinks become more accessible, it creates opportunities to enjoy a couple of low dosed (and discreet) drinks together with friends or the option to unwind at home without the wine. Look for new experiences and places to enjoy cannabis with tasting rooms, or consumption lounges, opening up. The opportunity to enjoy cannabis in normalized settings will further close the mainstream divide."

Kristina Lopez Adduci: "New York will set the tone for Northeast legalization ."

Kristina Lopez Adduci is the CEO and Founder of House of Puff, a Latina-led and women-owned lifestyle company based in NYC. House of Puff helps people unapologetically imbibe by normalizing their cannabis use with fashionable, art-inspired consumption devices and through their omnichannel content network.

"New York will set the tone for Northeast legalization - it's the nightlife capital, the fashion capital, the media capital, and diversity is the heartbeat of NYC. It will be the new "cannabis industry H.Q." We're optimistic that New Jersey and New York seem to be centering equity in their legalization strategies, and we're also excited to see a lot of female and POC investors who have been waiting for New York to go online to start deploying capital into the cannabis space. I think you'll start to see investors who were initially hesitant about investing in the space start to come out of the woodwork."

Chef Theodore Coleman "We're only scratching the surface of what we can do for a mature recreational cannabis experience."

Chef Theodore Coleman is a 2021 James Beard Fellow who specializes in combining high dining and cannabis infusions. He is the chef-owner of Late Reservations, a members-only Social Supper club founded in 2013 to unite like-minded individuals in a sublime and timeless way. It has since grown into a community of sophisticated members focusing on the narrative through cannabis and fine dining. In addition, the LR team curates bespoke events, travel experiences for members and creates luxury cannabis products for the modern consumer.

"I believe 2022 will be the year that cannabis fine dining finally hits the mainstream. There are a lot of power players in the industry already laying the foundation like 99th Floor and The Herbal Chef. I'm the young bull, but I hope to bring a more equitable and cultural focus to the space. I foresee a lot of green states paying attention to legacy and how that will impact the industry. With more education and resources, there will be innovation throughout the ecosystem, leading to a very positive next few years. We're only scratching the surface of what we can do for a mature recreational cannabis experience."