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Cannabis the new category to watch
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Cannabis the new category to watch

A store assortment is not infinite, but neither is it fixed. As proof, there are categories that didn't exist a few years ago, but which have now become indispensable. Think meat alternatives, plant-based products, hard seltzers oralcohol-free, etc .... What if cannabis-based products were next on the list of new segments? 

To find out more about the topic, one sunny Saturday in October, I was lucky enough to attend the Cannabis Summit in Leuven. In fact, I was curious, because in my opinion, this cannabis market is undoubtedly an opportunity to keep an eye on. And then, as a retail influencer, one of 20/CENT Retail's missions is to unearth for you the next trends to be seized in the retail market, isn't it? 

Let's be clear, there's still a long way to go for the cannabis segment. But, it seems that this market can develop very significantly and even in the short term.


Key findings

At the Cannabis Summit, the various speakers shared some notable data on the current market. Without listing them all, here are some of the most interesting insights into the potential market: 

  • The industry can be segmented into three industries: industrial, medical and recreational.
  • The USA is ahead of the game, but tends to lag behind both in terms of legislation and product development. Europe therefore has an opportunity to position itself as a leader and driving force in this segment. 
  • Rather than letting a market live in deliberately ignored obscurity,
    • the opportunity is to legislate and create legitimate jobs while obtaining tax revenues for the states;
    • and also to give consumers the opportunity to access safer products. 
  • Based on total addressable market models, the EU cannabis market is worth around $53 billion, with an upper limit of €126.3 billion.
  • France is undoubtedly the country with the largest number of consumers, but Germany and the Czech Republic may be positioned as drivers of development in Europe (both from a legislative and product development point of view).


My 20/CENT 

About the Cannabis Summit

Organizing an event where the aim is to educate and inform about the market is more than welcome. Now, despite speakers such as Beau Whitney who clearly know and assess the market more than adequately, I have to admit that what was missing in my eyes was something concrete and real success stories in the early cannabis market. The conference was full of round tables and speakers who focused on legal issues, standards, recommendations and data. Missing from the program, however, was a concrete case study of a successful range launch. I freely admit that the current market situation in Europe is still in its infancy. But concrete case studies and product launches (successful or not, even) would have enriched the program of this European Cannabis Summit.


A little honesty 

As you can guess, there's still a long way to go in some countries before the cannabis segment finds its way onto supermarket shelves. Not only will legal advances be needed, but also advances in product development. 

We're talking about medical, industrial and recreational use. There must be a way of developing affordable, safe products with certain virtues for the consumer. Beverages, supplements...? The future and the creativity of producers will tell.  

But to my mind, there's also one thing to combat: the stigmatization of the product. And the best way to do this is through honesty. Personally, I've never used cannabis in any form whatsoever. On the other hand, I do take some very sweet or very fatty junk sometimes, and I have a glass of alcohol from time to time. Perhaps you have the same habits? Perhaps you use cannabis from time to time, but have to do so in secret to avoid a certain judgment or certain legal consequences?

There are many substances that can have potentially harmful effects if used irresponsibly and uncontrolled. So why is it that some markets can operate without stigma and others can't? Instead of leaving the cannabis market in the dark, let's be honest. The future and the demand of the cannabis market is not to be able to do just anything. The aim is to be able to live and consume freely, while consumers are being protected in an appropriate environment.











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