As of 2023, 20 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. In these 20 states, people can consume marijuana whenever, however and for whatever reason they want.
In an additional 18 states, it’s legal for medicinal use. Marijuana’s user count, and consequently the number of states legalizing it, is expected to grow as it becomes more integrated in culture and accepted by society.
As a result, companies are churning out cannabis products and offerings to satiate this growing user demographic.
Now, most of us are familiar with the weed brownie, but this isn’t 1970 anymore, it’s 2023, and you can get high by consuming almost anything. Savory snacks like chips or popcorn, baked goods, chocolates, gummies, candy, your favorite soda, iced coffee or tea, even your daily moisturizer, have all been integrated in the cannabis industry and the product catalog is only expected to grow.
According to a report by New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis market in the US was worth $17.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow to $41.5 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate of 19%.
There are several factors driving this growth, including the increasing legalization of cannabis, both for medical and recreational use, and the growing acceptance and normalization of cannabis use in popular culture. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the growth of the cannabis industry, as many consumers have turned to cannabis products as a way to cope with stress and anxiety.
Because of its multifaceted uses, cannabis appeals to a wide range of ages. As one would expect, the heaviest users are amongst Millennials and Gen Z, those 18-30 years old. These generations tend to seek out the “healthier” versions of products on the market. Whether it’s sodas, energy drinks or snacks, they’re more concerned with their well-being than any previous generation.
Cannabis is no exception to this. More and more of marijuana’s heaviest users are looking for ways to get the effects of cannabis without the health implications of smoking. That’s where the integration of CPG and cannabis really shines.
And they’re not the only generation concerned with health and wellness. Equally, members of Gen X and even the Baby Boomers are using edibles as an alternative to pharmaceutical medication to alleviate joint inflammation and chronic pain. They’re more likely to use an edible or topical for cannabis’ soothing properties as they too can’t afford the additional health consequences of smoking.
The growth of the cannabis industry has led to increased investment and innovation in the space, with more companies developing and marketing cannabis-infused products, including edibles, beverages, and topicals. This has created new opportunities for CPG companies and entrepreneurs to enter the market and create innovative products that meet the needs of consumers.