Just slightly better than a coin toss! Yikes. That’s how well our Leafly News predictions held up in 2021.
Our most accurate prognostications:
- In Congress, the House will re-introduce and pass the MORE Act, but the Senate, with Mitch McConnell still in command, will continue to block consideration of the federal legalization bill. (True, sadly.)
- New York, Connecticut, and New Mexico will all pass adult-use legalization laws in 2021. (True. Three wins!)
- Pennsylvania will wrestle with legalization but ultimately it will not pass in 2021. (True, and there wasn’t even much wrestling.)
- 2021 will see the rise of long-term, steady-growth, homegrown companies like Cookies and Viola. Massive investment-driven expansion and splashy national marketing campaigns are so 2019. (Spot on.)
Our least-accurate predictions? Too many to list.
Read on for our fearless predictions for the glorious year of 2022.
Cannabis strains & products predictions
In 2022, you’ll see autoflower seeds make unprecedented inroads.
We’re going to see more hit GMO crosses, as well as the extension of the savory ‘Breath’ trend, the sweet ‘Cake’ trend, and the minty ‘Kush Mints’ crosses.
Top 8 cannabis strains of 2021
We’re going to see some terpene science discoveries like new aroma molecules or proof of new entourage interactions.
New stores and delivery services serve more legal consumers in more places than ever before, with adult-use retail stores in Montana, New Mexico, and New Jersey opening in 2022.
If 2021 was the year of the hemp-derived cannabinoid explosion (delta-8 THC, delta-10 THC, THC-O, et al), 2022 will be the year of the hemp-derived cannabinoid crackdown. Legal states will start regulating hemp-derived cannabinoids like regular old delta-9 THC. Prohibition states will specifically target hemp-derived cannabinoids. Some CBD stores and smoke shops will get raided by local police who have nothing better to do.
We’re going to see California’s ‘organic’ pot label come out, as well as regional appellation enforcement.
THC caps and high-THC product bans will continue to have some success at the local level, less so at the state level.
Marijuana lifestyle trends
Celebrities will continue to launch their own brands, rather than lease their names to existing companies.
2021 saw celebs like Jay-Z and Seth Rogen launch their own fully-formed cannabis companies. We think that trend will continue in 2022.
One new innovation: Snoop Dogg is taking celebrity involvement to the next level with his cannabis-focused investment fund, Casa Verde Capital. Having ended 2021 by closing a $100 million round of funding, look for Snoop and Casa Verde to become more important and visible industry players in 2022.
At least one new, licensed, splashy lounge will open in the US. (But you’ll need a vax card to get in. And overall, lounge legalization progress will continue to battle pandemic and prohibition headwinds.)
CBD and the FDA
The FDA will continue to censor CBD companies for all types of medical claims—involving ‘curing’ the coronavirus.
The FDA’s long-awaited rules on CBD will finally, absolutely, we really mean it this time, be issued in 2022. And then leading CBD companies will sue the FDA in federal court, putting the new rules on indefinite hold.
On vapes, more local and state legislation will try to ban aspects of vaping like flavors, as well as empty cartridges.
Pot prices planning, and industry trends
In California, we expect wholesale cannabis flower prices to hit lows of $5 per eight-ounce for mid-grade. High-grade indoor will command new peaks past $80/eighth at retail.
Also next for California, record consolidation at the farm and retail level. Pot taxes fall in some cities, rise in others, and remain unchanged at the state level.
Lastly for the Golden State in 2022: at least two dozen new dispensaries will open.
In newly-opened states like Montana, New Mexico, and New Jersey, the sky-high early-days prices will attract headlines. But as with every other adult-use state, those early spikes will gradually subside, and the $6 gram is a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if.’
Except in New Jersey. All bets are off regarding weed prices in New Jersey. Because it’s New Jersey.
More cities in legalization states will discuss and pass carbon targets—or carbon caps—for grows; LED lights will gain marketshare.
Federal reform forecasting
Legal interstate cannabis commerce is not happening in 2022. We’ll bet you a pound of Kush Mints.
We expect Congress to do a lot of posturing and speechifying around the issue of cannabis legalization—and then do almost nothing to enact it.
The House may re-introduce and pass the MORE Act (Slogan: “One MORE time!”), but it will once again fail in the Senate with Mitch McConnell blocking all avenues of passage.
We predict the House will pass a SAFE Banking bill again in 2022. Far left and right politicians in the Senate will block its passage—again.
In the November 2022 elections, Republicans take control of the US House. Democrats also lose their Senate majority.
Watching millions of dollars in state tax revenue flow into New Jersey will be too much for the legislators of Pennsylvania. 2022 will be the year the state finally passes an adult-use legalization bill.
Missouri legalization advocates are confident about their chances for approving a regulated market in the coming year. Legal Missouri 2022 is one of two groups aiming to put a ballot referendum before voters. They will make it onto the ballot, and legalization will pass easily in Nov. 2022.
Advocates in Oklahoma are looking to expand and better manage cannabis sales in that state. They will get a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing adult use on the Nov. 2022 ballot, and it will pass. Oklahoma lawmakers will also pass some type of cap on medical marijuana farm licenses.
Arkansas True Grass, the state’s legalization campaign, had to abandon their signature-gathering push due to the pandemic. But they’re back at it for 2022. They’ll gather the needed signatures, put a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and it will pass.
And that’s it for our 2022 predictions! No matter what happens—we’re living in a Golden Age of cannabis that’s gonna make the New Year a win-win. So stay positive!