What cannabis trends are in store for 2019?

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

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As cannabis legalization unfurls across the globe, the landscape is becoming peppered with state-of-the-art cultivation, processing and extraction facilities, research and development (R&D) operations, dispensaries, both medicinal and recreational, depending on the locality. Even colleges are allowing students to enroll in cannabis courses before embarking on a career in legal weed.

Experts predict that the global weed market will accumulate $146.4 billion by 2025. Based on existing and previous trends, the cannabis industry in 2019 looks set to branch out into the following areas:

Broader Legalization

In one of our previous posts, we talked about the most likely U.S. states to legalize weed this year. They include Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New Hampshire Legalization, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Legalization is also looking probable for Mexico, where the Supreme Court slammed cannabis prohibition for being ‘unconstitutional’ in 2019. Cannabis legalization talks are also happening in France, Luxembourg, Italy, and Lebanon.

Broader Supply Chains

Increased demand for legal bud has caused supply problems in many places, like Canada during its initial weeks of cannabis legalization. Increasing supply chains will be integral for industry players this year.

Better Strain and Product Diversity

Technology is getting better and scientists are learning how to distinguish cannabinoids, extract them and even grow weed containing accurate levels of those cannabinoids. With increased product and strain diversity, consumers can experiment with dosages that match their specific biochemistry. Anticipate plenty of medicinal-grade products this year, intertwined with low-THC recreational products that could help tackle the stereotypical ‘greening out’ concerns that many first-time consumers may face.

Stricter Pesticide Testing and Sustainable Growing

Anything that is consumed by someone, be it in the form of an edible, CBD-rich water vapor or an extract-filled capsule (e.g. oil) must comply with the standards laid forth for alternative agricultural commodities, such as fruits, vegetables, and meat. The organic cannabis niche boasts a large market. So long as pot producers can demonstrate sustainability and pesticide-free growing practices, 2019 looks set to be a good year for cannabis companies and consumers.

Heaps of Research and Development (R&D)

Trump has signed the Hemp Farm Bill 2018 into law and this means that farmers can now legally grow the hemp plant, which contains no more than 0.3 percent of cannabis’ abundant psychotropic compound, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Legal hemp farming will act as a catalyst for R&D into hemp’s medicinal properties, which are largely attributed to the plant’s CBD content. This will surely contribute to a rise in CBD consumption rates as 2019 progresses, as well as more clinical studies on cannabis compounds.

Cannabis Banking and Corporate Giants Investing in Legal Weed

Alcohol and tobacco multinational corporations are noticing the potential of the cannabis industry. So much so, in fact, that corporate giants like beer-maker Molson Coors Are investing in the legal weed industry. This demonstrates market maturation, which could essentially help lift federal restrictions on cannabis banking and stabilize prices.