It’s a new year, meaning it’s time to make some wild weed predictions about the year ahead. If you are interested in Australia’s cannabis industry, here are four cannabis trends to watch in 2021.
#1. Cannabis 2.0 products
Although ACT is the only jurisdiction to legalise cannabis in Australia, we will feel the impact of the Cannabis 2.0 industry in 2021.
Cannabis 2.0 products include anything manufactured with cannabis – from beverages to edibles and lifestyle products to mainstream pet medications. This also includes hemp, which has been permitted as a food product in Australia since 2017.
Cannabis 2.0 products aren’t just hype, either. Hemp produces durable and long-lasting sheets, clothes, home goods, furniture, paper, and a whole lot more. Hemp foods are also protein dense, making them an increasingly popular choice for Australians following a plant-based diet.
While Cannabis 2.0 products may seem niche, they are already available on supermarket shelves. We can also expect to see more small businesses in the cannabis space, as the demand for Cannabis 2.0 products grows.
#2. Organic cannabis
While organic cannabis won’t be the top trend for 2021, the seeds for Australia’s organic cannabis industry will begin to grow this year.
Unlike regular commercial cannabis, organic cannabis is grown without non-organic chemicals and pesticides. This produces cannabis with a higher potency of cannabinoids (like CBD) and terpenes, making organic cannabis a prosperous alternative.
But there are other reasons to care about organic cannabis. Growing cannabis organically can produce a higher crop yield in the right growing conditions. If grown outside, this crop will use very little electricity and won’t leak pesticide-ridden water run-off into local waterways. Outdoor grows do have negatives, however, as climate and nature can have devastating impacts on crops during extreme weather events such as droughts or bushfires.
We are also likely to see more organic cannabis grown in Australia. Currently, 90% of Australia’s medical cannabis products are imported. Cannabis grown in Australia offers many advantages for pharmaceutical companies and medical cannabis patients, as it adheres to Australia’s meticulous cultivation standards and can be cheaper to produce.
#3. Cannabis eCommerce
You can buy anything online these days – even cannabis.
On America’s Green Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), online cannabis sales for 1,500 cannabis retailers reached over $17.4 million in just 24 hours: showing us that there is plenty of demand for cannabis eCommerce.
We’re seeing this demand in Australia too. A significant number of Australia’s medical cannabis patients see their healthcare provider through telehealth appointments. The rise of cannabis telehealth was sped up by COVID, as it pushed the government to introduce permanent electronic prescribing under changes to the 2017 National Health (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Regulations.
Pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies are also using cannabis marketplaces, which allow them to fill prescriptions at a central location and ship prescriptions directly to patients. This is safer, cheaper and smarter.
With the number of medical cannabis patients increasing dramatically every month, cannabis eCommerce will become a necessary part of Australia’s cannabis infrastructure.
#4. Mainstream support of cannabis
For the first time ever, government research shows that more Australians supported cannabis legalisation than opposed it in 2020. This sets a powerful precedent for 2021, one that shows that Australia is nearly ready to have the cannabis-talk.
2021 will also see more celebrities entering the cannabis discussion. Last year, we saw cannabis products released by homemaking mogul Martha Stewart – and she is sure to inspire more mainstream support (and the launch of some competitor products).
Despite stubborn opposition, education about cannabis is reaching a mainstream audience in Australia. We can expect that momentum to continue, as it’s time for Australians to have a real discussion about cannabis.
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