The U.S. cannabis market is growing rapidly. With it, are the innovations that supply its life force. As new goods and services emerge, consumers and businesses alike are seeking ways to optimize their experience. As we look ahead in the new year, these five trends are set to be at the forefront of the cannabis conversation in 2017.
Personal Home Grow Solutions
Medical and recreational cannabis laws in many states now allow for the personal cultivation of at least a few cannabis plants. In Oregon it’s four plants per household, while Maine is slated to allow up to six per individual and 12 per household. Alaska’s state constitution has a right-to-privacy provision allowing possession of 24 plants per individual for personal use.
In 2016, a number of automated solutions for home growing cannabis emerged, like 7 Sensors’ “no green thumbs required” grow box, LEAF’s “Plug And Plant” automatic growing system, Cloudponics, and others. Although not aimed at the cannabis market specifically, Root’s “medicinal herbs” system may also be up to the task. Expect the app-based, smartphone-enabled, automated home growing sector to become more robust and competitive in 2017.
GrubHub, Seamless, Delivery Dudes, Amazon Now, and UberEats have proven that click-of-the-button delivery of locally-made foodstuffs provides on-demand pleasure like a morphine drip. Cannabis is next.
California cannabis delivery startup Eaze has procured more than $25 million in multiple rounds of funding in the hopes of being the largest provider of on-demand cannabis delivery. While they’re a few steps ahead of the pack, numerous delivery services across the state, like Buddha Blossoms and Kind Courier, are gearing up to service what’s about to be the world’s largest recreational cannabis economy. Oregon and Alaska also allow for recreational weed delivery, and it’s anticipated that Nevada will, too.
According to Cannabis Benchmarks, the overall price of cannabis in legal states has been steadily trending downward and should continue to do so. While this is great for the consumer, equaling lower prices on the shelf, it means tighter margins for licensed cannabis businesses as they compete on wholesale pricing. Where this pays off is in operational efficiency. Cost-saving HVAC and LED lighting solution providers for indoor grows, like Surna, are poised to dominate this space, especially in states like Colorado, where local municipalities have been slow to allow large-scale outdoor cannabis grows.
Regardless of pricing, with the increase in demand for legal cannabis comes a more educated consumer, and consumers will demand cannabis grown in environmentally responsible ways. This means working symbiotically with nature, while keeping carbon footprints low. Look for large-scale organic nutrient providers like Nectar for the Gods to flourish as well.
As more people make cannabis a part of their daily routine, both for recreation and pain relief, alternatives to smoking are taking the cannabis industry by storm. Portable vaporizers like the PAX 3 and dab tools like the PuffCo Plus allow consumers to inhale discreetly on-the-go. Meanwhile, cannabis edibles provide a longer and sometimes more therapeutic dose. As cannabis is infused into more everyday items, like cookies, breath mints, chocolates, coffee, and more, cannabis edibles provide an alternative to harsh smoke as well as a way to consume under the radar in public places.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Nevada has one of the best MMJ reciprocity laws on the books, allowing most out-of-state customers to use their MMJ recommendation from their home state to purchase cannabis at medical dispensaries, so long as their home state’s recommendation and record-keeping practices meet Nevada standards. Most do. Twenty-eight states have now activated some sort of medical and recreational cannabis program. With laws against transporting cannabis across state lines, travelers who rely on medical marijuana anticipate easier access to cannabis while on the road.