Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018

The post Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018 appeared first on High Times.

What’s on the horizon for the cannabis industry and users as we head into 2018? Plenty! With California opening up an adult use cannabis program, we’ll see explosive growth. Not to mention, projected tax revenue of over a billion dollars makes it difficult for state politicians to ignore. As of this December, Massachusetts has legalized adult use cannabis with New Jersey likely soon to follow. Here are three major cannabis trends and predictions that you’ll likely hear a lot about in the coming year.

Cannabis As A Wellness Lifestyle

Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018

That old, tired stereotype of always-stoned cannabis users as lazy, unproductive members of society, easily distracted by their search for munchies? Let’s leave that in the past, where it belongs.

When people are in less pain and less anxious, they can contribute more. And 2018 will be all about health, wellness and non-psychoactive cannabis products that increase the quality of life.

And these improvements to the quality of life aren’t just for people! Products like VetCBD are absolutely on the rise. Pets suffering from lack of appetite, seizures, aches and pains that go along with old age are experiencing incredible results through the use of medicinal marijuana.

I predict that we’ll see a decrease in cannabis candy and a shift towards non-sugary dosage vehicles. Patients using cannabis to treat anxiety, depression, Crohn’s disease or cancer may be avoiding sugar, which promotes inflammation. Since a big reason why cannabis works to treat so many medical issues is due to its anti-inflammatory properties, we’ll likely see a move towards products like MountJoy Sparkling, a zero-calorie cannabis-infused water, or KinSlips (think individually packaged Listerine-type strips that dissolve under your tongue).

Unlike an edible, which can be unpredictable, a high from KinSlips comes on within 10 minutes and only lasts an hour. Smoke- and odor-free products like KinSlips, MountJoy or the Aero Inhaler allow consumers to enjoy cannabis anywhere, including movie theaters, basketball games and even around children.

In previous years, there has been a rise in vaping, but for the most part, we haven’t had the tools to match the enthusiasm. When you vape, you’re consuming a cartridge filled with cannabis oil, screwed into a battery. But large, cumbersome batteries and cartridges impossible to distinguish from one another made products lackluster.

Now, companies like Demeter’s Garden are doing better. Their disposable vape pen includes the battery and measures in at under four inches, meaning it can fit in your pocket or purse. The gold-finished pens come in familiar flavors like watermelon, pineapple and pumpkin spice for the holidays.

Overall, though, we may see less of the clean, clever packaging designs we’ve come to love, as packaging regulations begin to require large legal disclaimers and child resistant features.

“As we head into 2018 and look at the new regulations, our creative challenges grow exponentially. As a branding/design agency, we have to not only make sure that the packaging is aesthetically pleasing and functional,” said Plastic Palmtree founder Masha Kupets Navarre. “I see it like a big puzzle that fits together at the end. Our job is to find innovative ways to stay compliant while maintaining the highest level of design standards and being true to the brand at hand. No matter what regulations come our way, we have to do our very best to not compromise the overall brand presentation.”

Hopefully, brands will continue to innovate to keep design quality along with improved products.

Crypto Beyond Currency

Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018

Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has been all over the news lately, but the developments around blockchain and cannabis are worth following even if most of the crypto conversation hasn’t been on your radar.

Blockchain is the technology used to build decentralized apps, which are more secure and transparent and can be run automatically without a third party system. It seems logical to predict that seed-to-sale tracking software and various marketplaces will be built using blockchain. We’re about to move from an unregulated market into a highly regulated market, and blockchain technology will keep people accountable.

“Blockchain technology could ensure state and local governments collect the right amount of taxes on sales, integrate directly with seed-to-sale tracking programs to keep products from entering the black market, and could even allow the industry to better keep track of their own accounting,” said David Kram, a serial entrepreneur who is currently developing a blockchain-based platform for the cannabis industry. “Blockchain improves security, transparency and introduces a new level of trust within an ecosystem that desperately needs it in order to thrive.”

Indeed, if you are an early adopter, the market is evolving right along with you. You can use digital currency to buy cannabis at dispensaries like Westside Caregivers Club.

“As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream and adopted by many worldwide, it’s no longer being looked at as a way to launder money or dark web currency,” said Alan Spiegel, the operations manager at Westside Caregivers Club. “Westside is willing to take the volatility risk in order to strengthen the currency as we believe this is the future.”

Growing Community

Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018

In 2018, smoking alone in mom’s basement is out, and cannabis-friendly community spaces are the new trend. Like Hitman Coffee Shop, a 21+ art gallery, community center and co-working space. With a membership, you’re free to work in the inspired (and inspiring) indoor space while you vape and dab at your leisure (smoking stays outside). Or Meadow, the technology platform that allows people to receive their medical card, order from a dispensary and have the product conveniently delivered to their home. Founder David Hua hosts almost-nightly talks and events at their San Francisco office, from meetings of groups like Women Grow and Blunt Talks to weddings.

In 2018, I predict that we’ll see more privately-owned spaces opening their doors to cannabis events. Already, private and ticketed specialized community events from Shabbat dinners to painting classes and yoga are serving a collective thirst for in-person, tangible experiences. If you’re hoping to spend Valentine’s Day snuggling rather than swiping left, finish out January at Connect, a cannabis-friendly singles mixer in LA with aphrodisiac snacks (both infused and not) and games.

The post Cannabis Trends And Predictions For 2018 appeared first on High Times.


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