Cannabis continued to boom in 2021 with no sign of a slowdown. It’s led to many opportunities for businesses and expanding product and service options for consumers. Looking at cannabis trends for 2022, it’s clear to see that both will continue.
Experts project cannabis sales in the United States by the end of 2022 will reach $30 billion. A lot of that is attributable to more access across the country for the cannabis curious who want to give marijuana products a try. Cannabis is now legal for adult use in 18 states. Medical marijuana is legal in 37 states, although different restrictions apply depending on the state.
That number could increase. In Missouri, for example, a petition drive is already underway to get marijuana on the ballot. Cannabis has become popular in both red and blue states, as well as with members of younger generations and older generations. Cannabis advocates recently launched a Cannabis in Common campaign based on this widespread support for legalized cannabis.
Five Cannabis Trends for 2022
There’s always a great deal of uncertainty when considering the future. But these cannabis trends for 2022 seem extremely likely.
Edibles, Pre-rolls Gain Popularity
Cannabis flower remains the biggest seller in the industry. But since legalization began in Colorado and Washington a decade ago, other options have grown in popularity. The projected “sales by product” in 2022 from Marijuana Business Daily show more people than ever are buying products other than marijuana flower.
- Flower – $14.1 billion
- Vape pens – $6.5 billion
- Edibles – $3 billion
- Pre-roll – $2.8 billion
- Concentrates – $2.8 billion
- Tinctures – $347 million
More Cannabis Research
Many Americans, including President Joe Biden, have called for more research into marijuana. However, that’s been difficult to do when the federal government, which still lists marijuana as a Schedule I illegal drug, only allows research using weed from one source, the University of Mississippi. That should change in 2022 as the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration finally moves forward on a plan to grant licenses to more suppliers for growing research cannabis that has the same potency as what people can buy in dispensaries.
Mainstreaming of Marijuana
This has been happening a lot in recent years, with everyone from Martha Stewart to Rick Steves championing the use of marijuana. The latest Gallup survey found a record high number of Americans support legalization, about 68 percent of the population. That number is amazing when considering only 34 percent of the population supported legalization at the beginning of the century, and only 12 percent did in 1969.
Increased Interest in Delta-8 THC
People who use products with Delta-8 THC report getting a smoother, less intensive experience. That’s driven an increasing demand for products that use Delta-8, rather than the Delta-9 found in most marijuana products. The experience using these products fits somewhere between using Delta-9 THC and CBD, which has little to no amounts of THC.
More Clarity for Workers
As the use of cannabis becomes more widespread, employers have more questions and concerns about what is and what is not allowed in testing their employees for marijuana use. HR departments also have tried to grapple with this issue, such as what to do about employees who test positive for marijuana use (THC can stay in the bloodstream for weeks after use). More court cases also are expected on whether the expense of medical marijuana is reimbursable through insurance even though it remains illegal at the federal level.
These cannabis trends for 2022 should take center stage as we move through the New Year. Most represent positive changes for cannabis consumers, even if Congress does not choose to legalize cannabis at the federal level.