This piece originally appeared on Cannabis Now.
New legislation in 2014 allowed cannabis to infiltrate mainstream markets. Thus, last year many were introduced to a plethora of pot-infused trends including industrial hemp farming, celebrity-endorsed cannabis products, cannabis food trucks and women-owned and operated canna-businesses. Publications are predicting that in 2015, people can expect to see the cannabis tourism industry expanding, as a host of new therapeutic and innovative products and businesses are set to launch this year.
There’s recently been much controversy surrounding the retailing of cannabis in the form of edibles. The number of consumers that consumed too much edible marijuana during one sitting proliferated. Joe Hodas, the chief marketing officer for Dixie Elixirs & Edibles, said that the impressive variety of edibles overwhelmed consumers which consequently led to over consumption.
As a result, state regulators have created incentive programs for producers to make products with lower or single servings of THC. Most have transitioned toward selling single-serving products.
According to reports, marijuana food products will become an even more popular trend in 2015. Culinary cannabis is on the rise and was even named as one of the Top 10 Food Trends in Specialty Food for 2015 on a list that forecasts the hottest movements in the specialty food industry.
Marijuana Business Daily described that while pot-infused pastries, candies and other food items are already offered by various retailers, producers will continue to play a larger role within the $88.3 billion specialty food industry. In one case, a leading edibles supplier in Colorado claimed that its one-month supply of marijuana edibles were sold out just three days after the state legalized cannabis. It’s been predicted that “cannabis will move beyond pot brownies to confections, bars, simple syrups and bottled cold-brewed coffee.”
It seems businesses are already embracing the new trends in edibles as Seattle-based Craft Elixirs has introduced flavored THC-oil-infused syrup into their drinks. Likewise, Mirth Provisions offers pot-infused cold-brewed coffee. And what’s a better addition to pot-infused coffee than hemp milk? According to Examiner, hemp seed and milk will be considered hot super foods in 2015.
Spas and Wellness
Due to the “explosive canna-business market,” we can expect more marijuana dispensaries adopting the aesthetics and services of spas. Spa-like dispensaries will join the likes of Denver’s Primal Wellness, the first “cannabis day spa,” and yoganja (which is just what it sounds like: pot-infused yoga classes) at House of Yoga in Toronto.
According to USA Today, more massage therapists in Denver are offering “mile high” massages, applying pot-infused oils on their patients. In addition, cannabis sexual enhancement oil, Foria will be released at the Winter X Games in Aspen this week. Foria, which claims that the calming properties of cannabis will help women achieve more satisfying sex, has been available for a few months in California, but only to medical marijuana cardholders with a doctor’s recommendation.
Foria is the newest in a burgeoning line of marijuana-infused products.
“We definitely have patients coming in for it, requesting it specifically… A-list celebrities that come in specifically for it. You’d be surprised who comes in for it,” said Matthew Rosen of the CannaSutra co-op in Studio City, Calif. “Most people have been giving positive feedback on it.”
Anyone 21 or older can buy it over the counter at the Native Roots chain of marijuana stores in Colorado just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Cannabis spas such as Denver’s LoDo Massage are paragons of how recreational marijuana can secure a spot in the $14-billion-a year spa industry. Apothecanna, a line of pot-infused lotions that massage therapists and dispensaries alike promote, is helping cannabis companies spearhead into the spa and wellness business.
The LA Times recently reported that marijuana tourism may soon be a major draw for visitors of Vermont. The state commissioned the Rand Corp. to predict the outcome of a proposed legalization of recreational marijuana.
RAND’s report found that an influx of tourists could be expected immediately after stores opened. Furthermore, the report found that the expected influx would dwarf the experience of western states that have already legalized recreational cannabis.
With taxation on the herb expected to galvanize Vermont’s economy, other East Coast states may begin to follow their lead if the legalization is set into motion.
Cannabis tourism was named one of the hottest trends in 2014 and while there are no hard statistics of marijuana tourism in Colorado, there is anecdotal evidence that people are visiting Colorado to partake in consuming marijuana.
“We’ve heard up in the ski areas that the dispensaries up there are selling 90 percent of their marijuana product to people out of state,” said Bill Whitaker of CBS News.
With Marijuana tour companies such as Seattle’s Kush Tourism continuing to make cannabis a more high-end industry, it’s expected to grow even more in 2015. Kush Tourism provides clients with access to elite bud and breakfasts, tastings, 4/20 airport pickups and cannabis ski shuttle services throughout Colorado and Washington.
With all of the political, cultural and social changes happening around the country, there are a number of new trends that could pop up anytime throughout the year. With an industry as innovative and creative as this one, the sky is the limit.
Dani is a writer from New York who has a Bachelor’s in Journalism and Asian Studies. She spent time in India writing articles for Jaipur.co. Her advocacy for marijuana branched out of her studies of eastern philosophy and her interest in holistic healing. In addition to championing the virtues of medical cannabis use, the proud vegan dedicates herself to defending the rights of animals. She is a freelance contributor for Cannabis Now Magazine.