Photo by Joe Buglewicz / The New York Times
As we head into 2022, many cannabis consumers and enthusiasts wonder what trends we should look out for this year. Thanks to an article written by Adam Tschorn in the Los Angeles Times, he spoke with a variety of industry insiders to help us better understand where the future of cannabis lies in the United States.
2022 is expected to see even more mergers and acquisitions than the past year, even more so in individual dispensaries. Troy Datcher, chief executive of San Jose-based, vertically integrated cannabis power player The Parent Company, told the Los Angeles Times that there’s ample space for further consolidation because dispensaries don’t have access to banking.
He thinks there are a lot of companies who were “skating on the edge with not a lot of capital reserves and without access to capital,” so he thinks if individuals don’t bind to other companies, a lot of people could find themself without a job in the cannabis industry.
Adding to the note above, while local cannabis companies and dispensaries begin closing, some say that 2022 will bring another SoCal marijuana boom with an increasing number of dispensaries and company expansions into new cities.
Chris Beals, chief executive of Irvine-based cannabis e-commerce platform Weedmaps, told the Los Angeles Times that this year should see an increase in the number of cannabis retailers. He thinks this increase “should help bring down prices, drive access and help with convenience.”
Ebony Andersen, chief operating officer of both Exposition Park dispensary Josephine & Billie’s and local cannabis cultivator Ball Family Farms, is one of the many industry insiders who believe 2022 will focus on the experience of cannabis commerce. She told the Los Angeles Times that one trend we should see is “more entertainment factors folding in cannabis.” Something like an entertainment-meets-cannabis experience should take off as lounges continue to pop up.
The work companies have put into branding their products and making themselves recognizable is just beginning. Ebony Anderson also said that people “recognize the importance of brand recognition now more than ever.” Because there is an abundance of products on the shelf, there’s a need for companies to connect and breakthrough to the consumer in order to set themself apart from the rest.
Don’t get your hopes up, people; most of the insiders that spoke with the Los Angeles Times did not mention a single shred of hope that cannabis would become legal in the nation at a federal level. In fact, Weedmaps’ Beals said that “The current slate of bills just don’t really stand a chance.”
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