The typical cannabis user is often represented with images of stoners and potheads blowing out massive plumes of smoke after taking a hit off a joint or a makeshift bong. But this is not the future of cannabis consumption, according to the findings in a new report.
It seems that smoking marijuana is a dying trend. Now that more health-conscious cannabis consumers are searching for alternatives to inhaling their buzz, the cannabis industry has set its sights on this multi-billion dollar market with products destined to make pot-consumption more socially acceptable.
“No one does it [smokes] anymore,” Dooma Wendschuh, co-founder of Belleville, Ont.-based Province Brands, a company that will market a cannabis-infused beer, told CBC News. “Smoking has lost, and beverages are how we like to become altered.”
We already know that the cannabis edibles market is on the verge of taking over the scene. Some of the latest data from Arcview Market Research shows that California cannabis consumers alone dropped $180 million on THC-infused food and beverages in 2017. The situation is even more impressive now that the state has officially launched its recreational market. Edible marijuana sales are now up by nearly 20 percent.
In other legal states, pot-infused products are doing much of the same – selling like wildfire. In fact, the increasing popularity of edibles has caught on with such enthusiasm that it is now considered one of the leading food trends in the United States. Of course, this development is rather humorous considering that marijuana (and anything derived from the plant) is still an outlaw substance in the eyes of the U.S. government.
In Canada, however, which is set to legalize marijuana nationwide later this summer, the cannabis industry is fully aware that it needs to make more edible pot products available to the average consumer. If it doesn’t, it is going to miss out on mega-profits.
A recent analysis from Deloitte shows that “smokable marijuana” in the northern nation will generate in upwards of $5 billion in 2019. But the edibles sector is predicted to hit somewhere between $12 and $22 billion by the time the market is in full swing.
Cannabis-infused beer will be one of the hottest items. This is because most consumers, even those without any experience with marijuana, will find drinking familiar.
Catching a buzz through the consumption of intoxicating beverages has become a staple in our society. So even with the stigmas associated with smoking eliminated from the equation, not to mention the risk of catching herpes and other contagious diseases, cannabis-infused beverages, especially those branded in the image of our old friend alcohol, will undoubtedly become a sales leader in the Canadian market.
If there is doubt in anyone’s mind that this is true, consider the recent actions by Constellation Brands, the third largest brewing company in the world — maker of Corona beer. The company has invested hundred of millions of dollars to develop a line of cannabis-infused beverages that it plans to distribute throughout the Canadian market. Although the booze company made this move, in part, to counteract the decline in sales that has proved possible in their business after marijuana goes legal, it also understands that THC-infused beverages is going to “be a big market worldwide.”
Although legal marijuana sales could happen in Canada by the end of August, the edibles market will have to hold back a little while longer. These types of specialty products will not be allowed in dispensaries until 2019. But from the way it looks, the delay is not going to hurt this sector at all.