Cannabis is poised to disrupt virtually every consumer industry, from foods, alcoholic drinks, hot drinks and soft drinks to beauty, consumer health, tobacco, tourism, retailing, and home and garden. Within the next decade, some form of cannabis will be a part of consumers’ daily routines, either as a functional ingredient in foods, beverages and beauty or as a wellness mood enhancer in health. But what is it? Where is it? Why now? And how will it transform the future of consumer markets?
The growth in legal cannabis sales in countries which have legalised recreational use can be seen as the conversion of illicit sales into legal, taxable sales. Whilst the total global legal and illicit cannabis market stands at USD150 today, with legal accounting for only a tenth of that, Euromonitor expects the legal market to grow to 77% of total sales, at USD166 in 2025.
The distinction between medical and recreational cannabis is largely an artificial construct of the process of decriminalisation, and will die away in the coming years as the two merge given one will be able to buy the exact same product on prescription as via retail, with the exception of rx-only products.
CBD is a legal cannabinoid, containing no THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid), and its appearance in a wide range of products, from foods and beverages to cosmetics and consumer health, as a functional wellness ingredient has created a market which did not exist as little as five years ago, to be followed by THC as countries legalise recreational use.
What will transform the cannabis market in the next 10 years is the development of outcome-based products to meet a range of consumer needs. A specific dosage at a specific ratio for a specific outcome – from a daily cup of tea to a cannabis ‘glass of wine equivalent’.
Cannabis is poised to disrupt virtually every consumer industry, from foods, hot drinks, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks to beauty, consumer health, tobacco, tourism, and home & garden. Within 10 years, some form of cannabis will be a regular part of consumers’ daily routines.
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