The Future spells Cannabis in every nook and cranny of the new product and marketing world.
There’s no doubt that the legalization of cannabis will change our culture. Manufacturers, retailers and marketers are already scrambling to get a piece of the action, as the value of the global legal weed goods and services is expected to hit almost $150B by 2025. Missing this is like missing the Internet boom of the late 90’s.
- Canopy Growth: A Canadian grower, with $4B investment from Constellation Brands, the alcoholic-beverage giant, recently secured a hemp license in New York state, indicating that they are gearing up for commercial activity.
- Barneys, in its Los Angeles location, has opened The High Life, a cannabis-centric store within a store showing that the luxe life definitely includes weed. The brand Beboe—known for its posh rose gold packaging—plays a major role in the shop, which sells not just THC-rich products, but ashtrays, grinders, marijuana-motif jewelry and more. Where will Prada play?
- Travel guru Rick Steves opined to the New York Times on the value of getting high and recording his thoughts while stoned, pointing to the growing acceptability of cannabis among public figures (yes, he lives in Washington state where marijuana is fully legal).
But as futurists, we see a constellation of opportunities waiting beyond this. Let’s look at the smoke signals for where the biggest wins will be.
The Egonomics of Cannabis
In the future, we’ll awaken and tweak our mood with a customized cannabis blend, part of the personalization (Egonomics Trend) we track. This won’t be an average “wake and bake,” but a DNA-specific hit that gets a person into the right frame of mind for the day ahead. Need a fantastic, friendly vibe to meet a new client? There’ll be a vape for that, culled from an AI-fueled database that reveals just which strains are best for the effect you crave in people like you. The same will hold true round the clock, as vapes, drops, edibles and meltables help us optimize our mood and minds to sync with daily demands. So many of the functions now performed by mood medications and psychotherapy sessions will be replaced. Whole industries will evaporate.
The CBD component of cannabis will elevate daily life in dozens of ways: Researchers have discovered that it can improve mood, sleep, immune function and anxiety levels while lessening inflammation. Given how our culture is growing more wellness-centric, cannabis can play a vital role in satisfying consumer needs. There will be CBD-MD’s who calibrate the right blends to remedy whatever ails a person, using their individual biodata as well as AI to formulate the perfect dose. Big Pharma should be on the alert. Where cannabis is legal, opioid prescriptions have dropped by double digits.
Weed For Wherever You Are In The World
As Digital Nomadism rises as part of our 99 Lives Trend, third spaces present mega opportunities for smart marketers. NYC’s soon-to-open The Well is a health-focused social club that already has a waiting list of over 1,000 elite consumers. Which retailer will be first to partner with The Well on a house brand of cannabis products? And how about coworking and co-living spaces—will they have a resident specialist and cannabis brand to tend to the stressed-out, sleepless and achy consumers of tomorrow?
A Trippy New Breed of Travel
There’s also incredible opportunity ahead as cannabis culture meshes with our culture’s hunger for transportive experiences. As an Anxiety Epidemic rocks our society, consumers will do anything to escape, which is evidence of our Trends Fantasy Adventure and Pleasure Revenge. As VR zooms to the $27 billion business it’s projected to be by year 2022, it seems inevitable that this technology will create a new kind of trip with curated weed strains. Already, Innerspace in LA has created what’s billed as “a physical and digital playground to explore” with interactive art, immersive technology, and cannabis for a “multi-sensory narrative journey through consciousness.” The travel industry will go from external to internal—to fantastic VR trips inside one’s own head and tech-created visualizations; cannabis will be the ultimate mind-expanding partner.
The New Ritual
For those who want a less intense thrill—what Faith and BrainReserve call a Small Indulgence—cannabis will still be a player. Happy Hour as we know it will come crashing down when a hit of marijuana or a tiny, big-flavor edible can deliver all the buzz with none of the liver-taxing alcohol (or calories). Where will THC-rich and THC-free concoctions be served? A new kind of bar will evolve that may merge with the coming of driverless cars. Will we relax in mobile party pods with a cannabis barista on-board? Or will our drops of bliss be drone-delivered for solo consumption? Odds are, we’ll learn the answer in the decade ahead. Wouldn’t you want to be who owns the answer?