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Top 10 Trends in the Medicinal Cannabis Industry to Look Out For

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Cannabis leaves - Picture taken from Pixabay (Free for commercial use and no attribution required)

The medical cannabis industry has seen a surge in recent years as more and more countries have legalized the use of medical cannabis. The global medical cannabis market is projected to reach USD 41.3 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period (2022-2027). In 2020, the market was valued at USD16.7 billion. The legalization of medical cannabis in several countries has resulted in the increased use of medical cannabis for the treatment of various medical conditions such as chronic pain, cancer, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Moreover, the rising awareness about the medical benefits of cannabis is also driving the growth of the medical cannabis market. However, government regulations regarding medical cannabis are still strict in many countries, including a few states in the US, thus limiting its growth. Despite all the limitations, the cannabis industry is expected to continue to grow in the coming years.

In this article, I’ve discussed the 10 trends we see in the medical cannabis industry. 

Cannabis flower market share is on a decline

Cannabis flower still holds the largest share of the adult-use marijuana market in the United States, but that dominance is slowly eroding as other cannabis products gain in popularity. A report from cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics found that flower sales still make up the lion’s share of the adult-use market, but that other product categories are growing at a faster pace. In particular, sales of vape cartridges and extracts have surged in recent years, as consumers seek out more potent and convenient cannabis products. Even edibles are starting to eat into flower’s market share, as more states legalize cannabis for recreational use. For example, sales of cannabis concentrate grew by nearly 50% in 2019, while flower sales only rose by about 10%. It seems likely that flower’s dominance of the cannabis market will continue to decline in the years to come, as consumers explore the wide range of cannabis products now available to them. 

Cannabis sales will increase even further

The global cannabis market is expected to reach $35 billion in sales by 2022, according to a recent report from BDSA. This represents a significant jump from 2021 sales of $29 billion and is attributable to the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16%. The majority of global cannabis sales will continue to come from the United States and Canada. The report also forecasts that global cannabis sales will surpass $61 billion by 2026. These figures underscore the growing demand for cannabis products around the world and the immense potential of the global cannabis market. This continued growth will be fueled by ongoing legal and regulatory changes, as well as the ongoing development of new and innovative cannabis products.

More relaxation on restrictions set on promotions of medical cannabis

Cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, despite more liberal attitudes and legalization in numerous states. This can create complications for businesses looking to market their products or services related to cannabis. For example, banks and financial institutions are subject to federal regulations, which means they may be hesitant to work with businesses involved in the sale or production of cannabis. In addition, online advertising platforms such as Google and Facebook among others are also subject to federal regulations, which means they may not be willing to accept ads for cannabis-related products or services. As a result, businesses looking to enter the cannabis market may need to get creative when it comes to marketing their products or services. For now, however, companies that produce and sell cannabis products need to be aware of the risks associated with marketing a federally illegal product. These risks include hefty fines and even prison sentences for those who violate the law. As attitudes continue to evolve and more states legalize marijuana, the restrictions on marketing these products will likely loosen. Until then, companies need to tread carefully when it comes to promoting their cannabis-related products and services.

As of today, advertising cannabis products has posed to be difficult. Social media channels have a no-nonsense attitude towards cannabis ads. Strict guidelines are put in place. Even after all that, we still see ads related to cannabis products every now and then. That gives a sense either companies are utilizing loopholes or these social media channels are actually relaxing restrictions on certain types of ads. Organic promotions have almost no restrictions. As the industry continues to evolve and people get more and more educated, these set limitations on ads will slowly be removed.

More cannabis product variations will be available

Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in cannabis use and cannabis products. This is due to the fact that THC and CBD can be consumed in many different ways, including smoking, vaping, and ingesting. As a result, there are a wide variety of cannabis products available on the market. Some of the most popular cannabis products include edibles, tinctures, and topicals. Edibles are cannabis-infused foods that can be eaten for leisure or medicinal purposes. Tinctures are liquid cannabis extracts that are typically taken orally. Topicals are cannabis-infused creams or ointments that can be applied to the skin for pain relief or other purposes. 

One of the most popular cannabis products on the market today is CBD oil. CBD oil is made by extracting the CBD from cannabis plants and then diluting it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or hemp seed oil. CBD oil can be taken orally, applied topically, or inhaled via a vaporizer. Some people use it to relieve anxiety, while others use it to help manage chronic pain. Another popular cannabis product is THC-infused edibles. THC-infused edibles are food items that have been infused with cannabis extract. They can come in many different forms, including candy, cookies, brownies, and gummies. THC-infused edibles are a popular option for people who want to experience the psychoactive effects of cannabis without smoking or vaporizing it. With so many cannabis product variations available, there is sure to be a product that meets one’s needs and preferences.

People will be more aware of the benefits before purchasing

There is a lot of talk about the benefits of medical cannabis these days. Some people swear by it for pain relief, while others say it has helped them with anxiety or depression. But are people really more aware of the benefits of medical cannabis before they purchase it?

It’s hard to say for sure. On the one hand, there is more information available than ever before thanks to the internet. People can easily read about the potential benefits of medical cannabis and make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for them. On the other hand, many people still view cannabis as a recreational drug and may not be fully aware of its medicinal properties.

It is anticipated based on evidence that people are more likely to purchase medical cannabis if they are aware of the benefits before they make their purchase. When people were given information about the benefits of medical cannabis, they were more likely to say that they would consider purchasing it. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they want to try medical cannabis. If you are considering it, be sure to do your research and talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.

More doctors will recommend medical marijuana

A recent study found that doctors are woefully unprepared to prescribe medical marijuana, despite it being legal in 29 states. The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, surveyed doctors and found that only 35% felt prepared to answer patient questions about medical marijuana. In fact, nine out of 10 doctors say they are unprepared to prescribe cannabis. This lack of preparation is concerning, given the increasing availability of medical cannabis. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine attributed the lack of training to the fact that medical schools rarely address the topic. With more and more states legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes, it’s time for medical schools to step up and ensure that future doctors are properly trained on the subject.

But things are changing fast. More and more doctors are certified to prescribe medical cannabis. These days it is not even necessary for qualified patients to physically visit a doctor to be recommended a medical card. Virtual platforms have come to the service with doctors in multiple states. 

Cannabis stocks will gain traction

The legal weed industry has been booming lately. Dispensaries, considered essential businesses, have seen a nearly 40% increase in sales year-over-year. This trend is expected to continue, with sales projected to reach $37 billion by 2024. A major contributing factor to this growth is changing public opinion. More voters than ever before support the medicinal and recreational legalization of weed, and there is hope that federal decriminalization and legalization will occur if the Democrats win the presidential election. Another driver of the legal weed industry is the current economic climate. With unemployment rates rising, more people are turning to weed for both recreational and medical purposes. At the same time, states are looking for ways to increase tax revenue, and legalization would provide a much-needed boost. With so many factors working in its favor, the bull case of the legal cannabis industry is flourishing.

Cannabis stocks have been on the rise in recent years as more and more states legalize marijuana on a medical or recreational basis. One of the main reasons for this is that cannabis has been shown to be an effective substitute for opiates in treating pain. In fact, data from states that have legalized marijuana shows that overdose deaths from opiates have decreased by as much as 35%. This is encouraging news, as it suggests that people are more likely to choose marijuana to treat their pain instead of a hard-to-attain prescription for a drug that has a much higher addiction potential and far more side effects. With the data backing up the efficacy of cannabis in treating pain, it’s no wonder that investors are pouring money into cannabis stocks.

Mergers and Acquisitions would be the key growth strategy

Mergers and acquisitions in the cannabis industry have been proceeding at a torrid pace in 2021, thanks to lower interest rates and pressure on larger companies to expand their footprints and boost revenue. And this activity has accelerated even further in 2022. There are a number of factors driving this flurry of M&A activity. First, with interest rates remaining at historically low levels, companies have more cash available to fund acquisitions. Second, as the cannabis industry matures, there is increasing pressure on companies to expand their operations in order to maintain or grow market share. One key trend that is driving M&A activity in the cannabis industry is the consolidation of the retail market. With more states legalizing recreational marijuana, there is increasing competition among retailers for market share. This has led to a wave of mergers and acquisitions among retail chains, as companies look to expand their reach and build scale. Many large companies see acquiring smaller cannabis businesses as a way to quickly enter the burgeoning marijuana market. As a result, we expect to see continued M&A activity in the cannabis industry in the coming year.

Reputation as “recession-proof” will solidify the industry’s position in the business world

The global pandemic has presented many challenges for businesses across a wide range of industries. For cannabis companies, these challenges include inflation and supply-chain issues. However, despite these challenges, retail sales of marijuana have remained relatively robust. The launch of new markets, including those in Canada and the United States, has helped to drive sales growth. Additionally, the increasing acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate medical treatment option has also contributed to sales growth. As the market continues to expand and more consumers become aware of the benefits of cannabis, retail sales are expected to remain strong. 

Sales at the retail level have remained strong throughout the crisis. Several factors are contributing to this. Firstly, as more states legalize cannabis, the market is expanding and more people are becoming interested in trying it. Secondly, many people are using cannabis as a way to cope with stress and anxiety during these difficult times. And finally, with more people staying home, they have more time to visit dispensaries and explore different products. Although the pandemic has created some challenges for cannabis companies, it has also opened up new opportunities for growth.

Tincture and sublingual category is booming in Canada

The tincture and sublingual category is booming in Canada. Some reports highlighted that just a couple of products in particular supplied more than 70% of the category’s sales in 2021, contributing to the vast majority of sales. Tinctures are high in demand due to the fact that they can be easily consumed and offer a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Sublinguals are also gaining popularity as they are a discreet way to consume cannabis. Pre-rolls, topicals, concentrates, and flowers (and ground flowers) are also popular Canadian product segments. Although mixed strain Pre-Rolls and ground flowers’ performance were very positive, tincture and sublingual categories dominated the Canadian market. This is likely due to the fact that tinctures and sublinguals offer a convenient and potent way to consume cannabis.

Final Takeaway

Marijuana’s medical worth is becoming clearer as it shows to be a surprisingly flexible, safe, and affordable medicine. Quasi-legal buyers clubs, limiting designation as prescription medicine, the isolation of specific cannabinoids, and the manufacturing of synthetic analogs are all being proposed as ways to make cannabis ingredients therapeutically available. All of these recommendations are unrealistic, according to a careful examination of the possibilities of this affordable medicine. Furthermore, cannabis has so many therapeutic uses that only the strictly medicinal ones should be approved, and its medical potential will never be exploited as long as it is forbidden for any other use. As a result, cannabis should be legalized under rules comparable to those that govern alcohol.

William Davis is a CBD and MMJ enthusiast working with Quick Med Cards. He has been covering cannabis-related stories for many years and has been involved in educating readers about the potential benefits this tabooed plant can have. When he is not writing about cannabis, he prefers to read suspense-thrillers or enlighten himself on the latest technological developments in the industry.

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Twins record second shutout in three days in win over Rockies

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Twins record second shutout in three days in win over Rockies

Puffy white clouds filled the blue skies above Target Field and sunlight bounced off buildings that make up the Minneapolis skyline. It was the kind of summer night at the ballpark that Minnesotans dream about throughout the long winter months.

It was the perfect night at Target Field and the hometown team, well, they were nearly perfect, too. Twins pitchers gave up just one hit (and five walks), and the team captured a first-inning lead on its way to a 6-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night at Target Field.

A day after getting shut out for the 10th time this season, tying the league lead, Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton made sure early on that the Twins wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Arraez snapped an 0-for-11 stretch to begin the game and Buxton, back in the lineup for the first time since Tuesday, followed that up with his first triple since 2019.

After missing time this week after his knee flared up, Buxton turned on the burners, with a sprint speed of 29.3 feet/second (30 ft/sec is elite) on the triple, losing his helmet along the way. When he reached the base, he pounded his chest a couple times, smacked his hands together and let out a roar.

While the Twins left Buxton on third, they added on throughout the game, tacking on a run in the second on Arraez’s second hit of the game, two more in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Alex Kirilloff drove in three of those runs, one on a sacrifice fly and the other on a double off the right field wall, bringing home Max Kepler — who walked three times in the game — and Kyle Garlick. The double was his fourth in eight games since being recalled from Triple-A.

All that offense came in support of Chris Archer, who worked five innings and allowed just one hit — a single to former Twin C.J. Cron in the second inning — and a walk in his outing.  Archer pitched out of that second-inning jam, retiring the next three batters in a row, the first of 12 straight that he sent down to conclude his start.

His start was followed by a scoreless inning each from Jharel Cotton and Griffin Jax and two from Tyler Thornburg. Twins pitchers have now thrown two shutouts in their past three games, and in Friday’s loss, they gave up just one run.

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A Pride timeline: Gay rights in Minnesota from 1858-2022

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A Pride timeline: Gay rights in Minnesota from 1858-2022

1858: Joseph Israel Lobdell, born Lucy Lobdell, is arrested for “impersonating a man.” A judge in the rural camp community of Forest City, Minn., sided with Lobdell, ruling that he did not act unlawfully.

1877: Minneapolis rules crossdressing as illegal, putting gender-nonconforming Minnesotans at risk for imprisonment.

1969: The Stonewall riots begin in New York City after police raids occur in the gay-friendly bars and community spaces of Lower Manhattan. These riots serve as a public turning point in American LGBTQ+ history.

May 18, 1969: University of Minnesota alumni found Fight Repression of Erotic Expression, or FREE, the first LGBTQ+ rights organization in the state. Founders Jack Baker and Michael McConnell become the first same-sex couple in the nation to apply for a marriage license, an application that is rejected by Hennepin County. Their legal case is dismissed by the U.S. Supreme Court in one sentence.

1972: The first Twin Cities Pride celebration is held in Minneapolis’ Loring Park.

Dec. 9, 1972: Minnesota state Sen. Allan Henry Spear indicates he is gay in an interview with the Minneapolis Star, making him the first openly gay state legislator in the United States.

June 1982: Bruce Brockway becomes the first documented recipient of an HIV diagnosis in Minnesota. After his diagnosis, he founded the Minnesota AIDS Project to provide resources to HIV-positive Minnesotans.

1993: Gender- and sexuality-based discrimination is outlawed in Minnesota, making it the first state in the nation to adopt the policy.

1997: Sicaŋgu Lakota man Nicholas Metcalf and his partner, Korean-American Edd Lee, found the Minnesota Men of Color, an organization that focuses on the well-being of men, women and gender-nonconforming people of color.

2012: Amendment 1, which limits marriage rights to only heterosexual couples, is rejected by the majority of Minnesota voters. Same-sex marriage is legalized in the state.

June 2015: The U.S. Supreme Court releases a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges finding that same-sex marriage cannot be banned in any state and must be recognized nationally. Gay marriage is legalized.

June 25-26, 2022: After two years of pandemic-related cancellations, the Twin Cities Pride parade and festival returns to Minneapolis.

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Ramsey County official recalls Pride marches in the early 1980s: A time of AIDS, discrimination

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Brian Theine, manager of St. Paul Social Services, in his office overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul on June 23, 2022. (Bryson Rosell / Pioneer Press)

Growing up in the 1970s in small farming communities outside of Milwaukee and Madison, Wis., Brian Theine knew three things: He was gay, he wanted to help people, and he wanted to live in a more cosmopolitan place.

Theine would go on to become a social worker and land in Minneapolis in 1982, toward the height of the AIDS epidemic. Instead of Minnesota Nice, he said he discovered profound rejection. Some 100 to 200 members of the gay and lesbian community would gather annually at a beach by the area then known as Lake Calhoun for a solidarity walk to Loring Park. Along the way, the insults and jeers from bystanders came hard and fast, and they were relentless.

Celebrating Pride meant suffering through verbal assault, and sometimes real punches.

Gay media at the time carried news accounts of men who had been badly beaten as they were arrested by police for loitering in the park, and the graphic image of a Black man who’d had his teeth knocked out still haunts Theine some 40 years later.

“It was sort of a feeling of, ‘What kind of place did I come to?’ ” he recalled.

This weekend, during the 50th anniversary celebration of Twin Cities Pride, Theine is spending at least eight hours each day manning a Ramsey County Social Services booth in Loring Park, encouraging members of the GLBTQ community and their allies to become foster parents and open their doors to young people who may be struggling with their gender identity or who have faced rejection at home and bullying in school.

Underscoring the degree to which the social landscape has changed, some 400,000 people are expected for the Ashley Rukes GLBTQ Pride Parade on Sunday down Hennepin Avenue. The parade had been canceled for two years in a row during the pandemic.

While social acceptance and legal rights may be more widespread than in the 1980s, Theine considers the issues confronting many GLBTQ youth to be no less profound. Theine, a manager in Ramsey County Social Services, oversees foster care licensing for children and adults, adoptions and other family services. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

It’s the 50th anniversary of Twin Cities Pride. A lot more people are openly gay today than 50 years ago. Is it safe to say we’ve come a long way?

I made that leap in the late ’70s, and it was a time of HIV and AIDS awareness impacting the community hard, and a difficult journey for the next 10 years of my life. In my job life here at Ramsey County, I led a mobile crisis team for 10 years, and part of what I did was make the rounds with police. We reached out to them to make a bridge. We said hey, we have social workers, I’m a social worker. Let’s work as a mental health team and change what’s happening in the community. In these later years, I had a much different relationship with the police. I would never have approached the police like that in 1984, whereas I feel much more comfortable doing that today.

Back in the early 1980s, how many folks would attend Pride?

Maybe 100 to 200. I have nothing against the parades of today, but they’re long, a huge number of people come to the park. In a good year, 400,000 people come to the park. It’s great. It’s a different feeling now than in the 1980s. There was sort of an area known as the gay beach, and there was a part of the beach where African-American people would gather up. That’s where the parade would start out from. It was grassroots.

You mentioned arriving in the Twin Cities during the HIV and AIDS epidemic. What was that like for you at the time?

Brian Theine, manager of St. Paul Social Services, in his office overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul. (Bryson Rosell / Pioneer Press)

At that time, I had friends and people who I had actually dated who ended up with HIV. It was a scary time, because there was not a lot known about it, services weren’t available to get help. Friends of mine who had been diagnosed at that time were told they had two years to live. One of my friends is still living with HIV. He lost a couple doctors along that way who died of it. Friends I’ve known have suicided. We were sort of the pariah because of HIV.

It was isolating, and making our community feel alone, but it was actually sort of unifying, too. Our lesbian sisters came to help their gay brothers when others wouldn’t do so. I was part of the founding of OutFront Minnesota — which in 1987 had a different name, the Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council of Minnesota — because there weren’t a lot of support services at that time. We ran the hotlines, helping people get to therapy and direct care and making sure they had services in the home to try to have some quality of life. In a different job I was doing, I had to get people to volunteer to work on the floor of the nursing home where people went to rehab after the hospital, because finding staffing was a struggle.

A lot has changed legally, like the national legalization of gay marriage in 2015. And I’m sure a lot hasn’t changed depending upon where you are and what situation you’re in. Talk about your vantage point working in youth social services.

In the last three years or so, I came into this department of Children and Family Services to take on being a manager. There were people interested in this area of foster care and adoptions who wanted to work with the GLBTQ community to see if there was more they could do. The staff in our foster care and adoption unit also started showing up at Pride five years ago. At the same time, the department in social services here was getting consultation with the Human Rights Campaign, trying to figure out how to approach policies and procedures and change policies that needed to be refreshed.

If services didn’t join with our values, we wouldn’t place kids there. Today, we have had to move kids out of a foster home, or out of a residential treatment facility because of conflict with our policy. We all want to be accepted. Kids who identify as trans, or lesbian or gay, they’re no different from anybody else. We didn’t want to place them into placements where that was going to be a conflict. It’s written into our contracts for anyone who works with us, that recipients of our social services should not be subject to discrimination because of their race, gender expression, political beliefs, religion, etc. We’re not going to go into a contract with an agency in those kinds of situations.

How often would you assume kids in foster care are GLBTQ?

National numbers tell us as many as 30 percent of the kids identify. It’s a very GLBTQ community. Other surveys that are bit more local suggest it’s 27 percent, 28 percent, so it’s similar numbers. We’re trying to collect demographic data. We need to do that, because we have the anecdotal stories. That’s part of the systems change we’re working on.

Why are those numbers so large?

It’s one of those things that are hard to hear. We end up with kids who are homeless, living on the street as teens. They may need to do sex work to get inside and out of the cold on a cold winter night. Kids who are homeless had conflict in their homes. They’re struggling with gender identity or gender expression, and their home situation is too much to bear. The streets might feel safer than what they have at home.

There’s times we may need to reach out to a grandma or an aunt to say, ‘Can you take this kid in?’ It’s a whole variety of factors. There’s other things that happen to kids, like bullying in school, that still make coming out a hard time for people. There’s a lot of public schools that are trying to have Gay/Straight Alliances, or alliances to acknowledge our non-binary kids. But there’s these individual factors that can make life hard, and make it difficult to live without fear. And all of that contributes to what we’re seeing — kids who are couch-hopping or living on the street.

We need to reach out to their kinship support groups. People shouldn’t be in child protection just because they’re GLBTQ. They shouldn’t be in a group home or institutional care. We need to work with families upfront in a welfare way and not in a child-protection way. Ultimately, we don’t want any kid in foster care, and that’s part of our overall mission as a county — only to use foster care when we need it. That’s part of why we show up at Pride, to say, ‘Have you thought about being a foster parent?’ We need people who reflect the community. We keep saying it, and sometimes you have to hear it 15 times to get someone to sign up: ‘We need you.’

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