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Trends And Predictions For The Cannabis Industry In 2020

Hemp Leaf Hemp Plant Cannabis Sativa

Hard as it is to believe, this multi-billion dollar baby was mostly illegal everywhere just six short years ago. How much the world has changed – and in almost every way.

This year, as the world begins its third decade of the 21st century, cannabis is morphing yet again, but along lines and via trends that have been much in the offing over the last decade if not century. What are those trends?

  1. Regulation and of the international, regional and domestic kind is in the room and in every way. From certifying products and supply chains along the way to making regulatory arguments about how the plant should be accessed and treated, these are the conversations that make deals happen. 
  2. CBD Hype is absolutely in Europe – but it is a different animal here than anywhere else. As countries now face determining what is “safe,” if not “normal,” this kicks up other discussions about the regional and international treatment of not only this plant, and its processing, but other kinds of commodities. Not only is a whole set of regulations in flux across Europe that affects all edibles, but Novel Food is a bugabear that the industry, so far, has not widely cracked.
  3. Prices Are Finally Falling. The German government has set a reference price and it is comfortably within the range set by Italy and Luxembourg. External competitors both within and adjacent to Europe (see Poland and Macedonia) have so far been dealt a blow by the shifting winds of interpretation of not only GMP but other global standards and rules that can only be changed at an international level (read the World Health Organization and the UN) are still the ruling determinates of who gets to trade with whom. This is going to be a long road.
  4. Cannabis is a commodity – like any other. That said, the paths into this industry, starting with financing, are still anything but “normal.” That said, there is a normalization afoot, even in some of the more untraditional practices that previously raised eyebrows. The role of investment banks in this industry, given the popularity of reverse IPOs and pooled capital funds, is now in question. How private equity globally responds is much in the room this year.
  5. 2022 is on the calendar and expect recreational discussions to take off only after this date. In the meantime, there are new opportunities opening, new sales channels forming and new coalitions in the offing. It is a fertile time to be in the industry, no matter how challenging it still often is.

Do not miss the International Cannabis Business Conference’s conferences this year in North America and Europe!