Since the first state in the US legalized recreational cannabis use in 2012, the industry has flourished and grown. With that rapid success comes challenges, and the biggest challenges facing the cannabis industry in 2022 include its continued legal limbo, subsequent banking problems, and more.
We’ve put together a quick explainer of the industry’s biggest challenges in 2022 to help people understand the industry better.
Although the last handful of years has seen great strides by the cannabis industry in the legalization battle across the US, many challenges still exist. As of this writing, 18 states have legalized recreational marijuana (including Washington DC and Guam), with more decriminalization or allowing its use for medicinal purposes.
Cannabis legalization has come a long way since Colorado first legalized it in 2012, but there’s still a long road ahead. For the cannabis industry to grow and achieve its full potential, cannabis has to become legal in more states, and there is hope in the industry that cannabis will soon become federally legalized.
Legalization isn’t just about broadening the customer base, though—it’s also about easing restrictions and promoting growth within the industry.
Restricted Banking Opportunities
Cannabis is still illegal under federal law, even though it’s legal in some states, which puts companies in a sort of limbo for banking and financial opportunities. Despite how lucrative and successful the cannabis industry has been, many companies still can’t work with federally-insured banks.
These restrictions make raising capital for cannabis companies more difficult. Interest rates have been low enough for most cannabis companies to still manage. However, if Federal Reserve interest rates rise in 2022, it could lead to a trickle-down effect, leading businesses to either raise their prices or go out of business.
Scientists and researchers are learning more about cannabis and its uses every year, and 2021 was another strong year for cannabis research. As the industry grows, more research can be done to further develop and experiment with cannabis as more data is collected.
Now that researchers have a larger data pool of legal users of cannabis, they can conduct more thorough research and data analysis to further the industry in novel and safe directions.
As the cannabis industry is relatively legal, the landscape is changing dramatically from year to year, and 2022 is likely to be more of the same. As the industry grows, experts predict that other sectors, specifically alcohol and tobacco companies, will invest and partner with cannabis businesses to get a firm foothold in the industry and shape it.
Time will tell how the industry’s landscape will change and its effects, from product development to market competition.
The biggest challenges facing the cannabis industry in 2022 are similar to the ones the industry has faced since its inception. Legal challenges are still the primary obstacle to the industry. However, about a decade into the legal cannabis era, the industry is still adjusting and finding its place in the national and global markets.