The U.S. is starting 2023 with almost half of the states in the country having some form of legal recreational cannabis. The most substantial progress was made in the Northeast, where several states have newly legalized adult-use cannabis programs that either started sales or are preparing to do so this year.
As we kick off the new year, many experts, insiders, and advocates have predictions for what they expect to happen in 2023 for the cannabis industry. Here are just a few:
Several More States Could Legalize Cannabis
Industry experts think there is a good possibility that both Pennsylvania and Minnesota will legalize recreational cannabis in 2023. Both states have medical marijuana programs, as well as governors that have expressed their support for adult-use cannabis legalization. Currently, Oklahomans will vote on recreational legalization in March, and state legislators in Ohio are considering a bill that would legalize the plant. The vote in Oklahoma is a special election that the state’s governor called for so that residents could decide on the issue.
Brands Might Begin Focusing on Minor Cannabinoids and Terpenes
According to information from BDSA, a Colorado-based cannabis research firm, 2023 will see some interesting shifts in retail marijuana trends. As the market becomes more competitive, with more brands entering the industry, companies will need to stand out and differentiate their products from the countless others available. According to BDSA’s CEO Roy Bingham, one way brands will likely do this is by focusing on minor cannabinoids and terpene content. In some instances, the terpenes may already be present in the product but brands will choose to focus more on them; in other cases, terpenes may be added to give the products a competitive edge. Bingham also sees solventless edibles and concentrates gaining more attention in 2023.
Mature Markets May Call for Licensing Moratoriums
The second half of 2022 saw some states with mature cannabis markets experience struggles. Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon in particular faced issues with market oversaturation. Cannabis growers in these states have been struggling financially as the oversupply of cannabis flower has led to plummeting prices for wholesale marijuana. To combat the issue, lawmakers in Oregon passed legislation to place a moratorium on cannabis business licenses. Any license application submitted after January 1st of last year will not be approved. The moratorium will last until March 2024. Industry experts anticipate that 2023 will see more calls for help from state regulators to combat the overproduction problem.