Key Industry Takeaways from MJBizCon 2023

by | Dec 13, 2023 | Cannabis

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CannaBI Analytics was thrilled to return to Las Vegas once again for this year’s MJBizCon. This year’s show highlighted several pivotal trends within the cannabis industry, emphasizing its dynamic nature and the challenges it faces. Here are some of our main takeaways from the conference:

Market consolidation and economic challenges

The cannabis industry is undergoing significant consolidation, especially in mature markets like Colorado and Washington. This trend is partly driven by economic challenges such as falling prices, which have forced businesses to implement cost-cutting measures. There’s a prediction that only the most efficient businesses will survive in this competitive environment.

This consolidation is also seen in the slowdown of mergers and acquisitions, indicating a cautious approach by companies in a less certain economic climate​.

Consumer trends and product diversification

The cannabis market is witnessing an evolution in consumer behavior. As consumers become more sophisticated in their purchasing habits, there’s an increasing demand for a variety of products. This trend is driving product segmentation at the retail level, with a shift from traditional flower sales to a broader range of products like vapes, concentrates, and edibles. This diversification reflects the industry’s response to changing consumer preferences and the desire for more nuanced cannabis experiences​.

Delta-8 THC regulatory ambiguity

Delta-8 THC has emerged as a controversial cannabinoid due to its ambiguous legal status. Although derived from hemp, delta-8 THC is psychoactive, leading to a regulatory gray area. Almost every state-legal marijuana market has established some rules to govern delta-8 THC.

This situation poses a challenge for the industry, as it competes with nearly unregulated delta-8 products, especially in states with limited or no legal marijuana markets​.

Unionization and employee advocacy

Unionization efforts in the cannabis industry have gained momentum, with labor organizers such as the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters actively engaging in the sector. This trend is driven by concerns over low pay and health and safety issues among cannabis retail employees. The rise in unionization signals a maturing industry where worker rights and benefits are increasingly prioritized, pointing towards a more structured and formalized workforce within the cannabis sector​.

Federal policy shifts and legalization efforts

A popular point of discussion at this year’s show was the evolving landscape of federal marijuana policies and legalization efforts. There’s an anticipation of landmark shifts in U.S. federal marijuana policy, which has left many businesses cautiously optimistic. The industry is closely watching developments in federal marijuana rescheduling, tax reforms, and potential banking reforms, all of which could open new avenues for growth and ease operational challenges.

Despite setbacks in recent years, such as the failure to implement banking reform, there’s hope that 2024 will bring renewed opportunities for the legal cannabis industry. This trend reflects a broader push for federal legalization and highlights the industry’s resilience and hope for a more favorable regulatory environment​​.

We’re here to help

With the industry facing so much uncertainty, CannaBI is here to help you navigate whatever changes that may arise.  To see what we can do for you, check out our CannaBI page.

We’re looking forward to next year, and can’t wait to reconnect with you all again. See you then!

Trevor Branch

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