2018 is in the books. Every year over the last five years have seen an increasing amount of momentum in the shape and character of the cannabis movement and the industry.
Flower in Threat of Losing it’s role as Queen
A seismic shift in the cannabis industry established itself: flower was no longer the behemoth it once was, controlling more than 60 percent of the market as early as 2014. Legalized marijuana first began in 1999, when California passed via voter initiative. Since then, it has mainly been flower sold, while concentrates, edibles and topicals held only a fraction of the market.
Product Diversity Today
The industry has changed drastically since then largely by exploring the options that cannabis has to offer and quality branded efforts. A myriad of techniques from pairing and infusing, plus advances and adoptions of technologies from other industries heavily impacted the landscape of products available and how people consume cannabis.
As California, Colorado and Oregon produced surpluses of cannabis supply for their local current markets, the cost has dropped and come closer to a true market value. This allowed for a wider variety of products like beverages, edibles, topicals, and concentrates to become established within the market.
Wide diversity in edibles was a strong trend this past year. With CBD inching itself more and more toward full legalization, consumers are likely to see a further influx in products with CBD in 2019. CBD ‘s role in edibles and beverages made an impressive gain, and is likely to continue.
Newer products vary from bottled liquid, powdered drinks, spice mixes and more came onto the market in droves.
Even more inventive products are coming to market at an alarming rate.
For example sublingual products are currently on the market. Brands lick Kinslips, Canyon’s LickIts and CreedandC bring varieties of products to put underneath your tongue like a Listerine breath strips.
Another fascinating new line of products is Cannabis Inhalers. Designed like asthma inhalers, these products deliver metered doses of vaporized cannabinoids. Companies like One Gro, Mystabis and Aeroinhaler produced products that allows for a new experience in the inhaled cannabis category.
With all this innovation, it is very difficult to discern which will be the most preferred delivery method, but one thing is absolutely clear: people will have options as the industry grows and there are no shortage of options today.
Microdosing on the Rise
A strong trend in micro-dosed products has emerged with some help from California chocolate. The standard serving went from a 10 mg dose of THC to a 5 mg dose. Even further an increasing number of products are even offering 2.5mg doses. Micro-dosing is becoming an established part of cannabis.
Lower Prices vs. Branded Cannabis
When flower dominated the market, what businesses marketed was primarily the strain. Instagram is filled with #Straindrops from cultivators and dispensaries showing off their products. Companies would provide in demand strains at the best quality available and drive demand through being in line with customer demands and high quality.
A cannabis arms race was sparked, and there were winners and losers. The biggest consequence was falling prices for wholesale flower in all categories except branded cannabis. Vertical brands who established brand integrity and were able to increase prices, reversing a market trend. Expect to see more companies build branded flower companies.
The Goldie Locks Zone in Pricing
When people are going to the dispensary, the price category they are looking at, by and large, is $30-$35 according to BDS analytics.
With more legal programs coming online and kicking off in 2019, the industry is set to continue its metamorphosis.