Marijuana has come a long way since California first legalized medical cannabis in 1996. Momentum on the legal weed tip has proved to it to be one of the quickest growing industries the country (and world) has ever seen, with predictions for a global cannabis economy in the tune of over $63 billion by 2024.
As we ring in the new year, industry analysts are predicting another big year on the cannabis front. Following are some of what they expect to be seen in 2018.
2018 Marijuana Predictions
California, California, California
With California bringing in 2018 with legal recreational sales, cannabis advisory firm Electrum Partners president Leslie Bocskor says, “The story of 2018 will be California.” With an projected $7 billion industry in the Golden State, many believe all eyes will be on California as their recreational program gets off the ground.
Bocksor says to expect delays for several months after legal weed is implemented in Cali. “However,” she says, “after they get things worked out, the revenues will grow and mission-critical tax dollars will accumulate to the delight of all stakeholders.”
A Significant Increase in Home Grows
Some expert analysts say that home grows will more than double in the coming year. CEO of BloomBoss, Chuck Siegel says, “We expect to see the home grow market more than double in 2018, in the wake of new legalization measures and a shifting focus to craft quality cannabis.”
Aside from artisans crafting up some high-quality cannabis at home, Siegel believes home grows will increase as the price of legal weed increases. “With the average price of an ounce of cannabis flower approaching $400 (and rising, as more and more dispensaries open in newly legalized areas and face little pricing competition),” Siegal says, “it’s easy for consumers to do the math and see the immediate payback horizon of growing their own supply.”
The Stigma Surrounding Weed Will Keep Fading
Welcome to 2018, where the stoner stereotype is almost dead. MariMed Advisors CEO, Bob Fireman says, “The stigma of cannabis continues to fade thanks to education efforts at the state and local levels, a willingness of high profile figures and medical professionals to discuss cannabis’ health benefits backed by international clinical trials, as well as balanced news coverage of the industry.”
As more people come to accept cannabis for what it is instead of the propaganda-laced devil’s weed it was once thought to be, the stigma surrounding it will continue to fade. There are countless celebs, medical professionals, former cops, veterans, and politicians who support marijuana from both a recreational and medical standpoint. In 2018, there’s not many left who still believe the hype.
A More Regulated Industry Will Emerge
Director of research for the Brightfield Group, Bethany Gomez says, “The ‘Wild West’ that characterized the cannabis industry in the past is quickly disappearing and a more transparent, accountable industry is emerging across the board.”
Will 2018 be the year we bid farewell to the “Wild West” mentality that’s governed the legal cannabis market up until now? The coming year will tell as the weed market matures the legal marijuana starts to grow up.