2022 Unwrapped: Cannabis Market - USA
Cannabis in the United States continues to increase in popularity, with a multitude of contemporary consumption methods. Consumers have seen both the rise and fall in the quality of cannabis, while also seeing new, sophisticated looks emerge in the industry.
In 2022, there is a scene for everyone in cannabis. Offering various styles of consumption techniques and branding aesthetics, the industry is continuously expanding to cater to any consumer. It is also further diluting the derogatory narrative of what the ‘typical stoner’ looks like.
Overall, cannabis is becoming widespread, and more acceptable as legalization ramps up. In the near future, it wouldn’t be surprising to see cannabis become federally legal. This blog post will be exploring all the happenings of the cannabis industry in 2022, while providing projections of what is to come.
States That Legalized Cannabis
There were several states in 2022 that legalized cannabis for either medical use, recreational use, or both.
Rhode Island approved its cannabis legalization legislature in May of 2022. Governor Dan Mckee signed the bill on May 25, 2022, creating a law that legalizes, regulates, and taxes cannabis sales in the state. Adults ages 21+ can now possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to three cannabis plants in a private residence. Legal cannabis sales officially began in December of 2022.
Election day in November 2022 saw the approval of legal cannabis in Maryland. The legislation states that citizens would be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, repeals the term “marijuana” and replaces it with cannabis, and offers an opportunity for expungement and resentencing for people previously convicted of certain cannabis offenses. Adults 21+ will be able to possess and use cannabis as early as July 2023.
Election Day saw another state approve recreational cannabis legislation as voters in Missouri voted to pass the legislation. The law limits possession to up to 3 ounces, creates a registration card for adults looking at personal cultivation, and imposes a 6% tax on the retail price of cannabis. It also allows citizens with certain non-violent marijuana-related offenses to petition to have their records expunged.
Vape Market 2022
The US Vape market has seen an exponential increase in consumers, and is projected to increase by at least 30% by 2030. It is valued at 22.45 billion dollars and counting. In the cannabis market alone, there has been a surge of innovative vape cartridges, dab pens, pods, etc. with the rapid decrease in flower prices.
Consumers are also in the market for something convenient and simple, making disposable vapes and cartridges the best pitch. Cannabis smokers are now able to enjoy the plant and its potency with the click of a button. As the world is technologically advancing, so is the cannabis industry and the ways of consumption.
With legalization and more accessibility, consumers are beginning to investigate the materials that go into cartridges. This resulted in the rise of cartridges without metal, the most notable being ceramic 510 cartridges.
Furthermore, customers are looking at the quality of the contents in the vape cartridges–concentrates. Live resin and live rosin are booming, while distillate is losing popularity amongst consumers. Vapes take up a large majority of the cannabis market, and that number will continue to rise. More people today will have their first time trying cannabis in the form of a vape, and not out of a pipe.
Flower Market 2022
Though flower prices have seen a significant decrease in 2022, it is still dominating the cannabis market. Flower sales have nearly doubled since 2018, taking the majority of the market share.
Pre-rolls are gaining popularity, especially with prices ranging from $5-$25, there is something for everyone. Without the actual labor of rolling a joint, pre-rolls have become the go-to for all consumers of cannabis. Infused pre-rolls are a large part of this niche category, making the joint you are smoking extra potent, and flavored.
Retailers report that the top-selling cannabis strains for flower continue to be Wedding Cake, Runtz, Gelato, and even Blue Dream. 1/8ths are retailing anywhere from an average of $10-$50, with the more expensive outliers at $80. Several budget flower brands are continuing to thrive on low-prices and high THC content, with the quality varying.
Due to the plummeting price of cannabis flower, retailers are having to sell double what they previously would, and farmers are struggling to make a livable profit. This poses the question, “What other avenues will the cannabis industry take to remain a competitive market?”
October 2022 saw a step in the right direction for cannabis legalization with an announcement from President Joe Biden. Biden announced the pardon of all prior federal offenses of simple marijuana possession. This decision will hopefully have a positive impact on the thousands of Americans convicted of this crime.
Entering into 2023 sees even more brands and products than in the past. This rise in competition will continue to test the stability of prices in the industry and challenge cannabis operators to produce high-quality and desirable products.
Cannabis operators and consumers alike should stay tuned in to the cannabis market to see where this next year will take the industry.