It’s worth noting that despite posting impressive numbers year after year, the cannabis industry has only just now primed itself for liftoff. As of May, a whopping thirty-three states have legalized medical marijuana — and ten have gone on to legalize it for adult recreational use (opening the floodgates for new innovations like cannabis-infused beer and edibles) . As more state lawmakers are set to follow suit, cannabis legalization is sweeping other parts of the world as well.
How Is Legalization Going Outside the United States?
Canada legalized recreational cannabis back in October 2018, while decriminalization and legalization are currently ongoing throughout Central and South America. Cannabis is also legal across the EU, albeit only for medical use in some countries such as Malta and the Czech Republic.
While cannabis is still illegal in many parts of Asia, Australia and New Zealand are pioneering medical legalization, with the latter on course to approve adult recreational use within the next year.
With the help of contemporary medical research, the global perception around cannabis has been completely transformed for the better, and the legislative landscape along with it. But how will this affect the industry’s ongoing campaign into the beverage sector — particularly its revolutionization of the craft beer space — in 2020 given it’s already on a roll? In this post, we go over our top three predictions for cannabis craft beer by this time next year.
Prediction #1: Cannabis-Infused Beer Will Continue to Break Previous Records
Nothing drives up numbers like mass adoption into a booming market. While former Blue Moon brewmaster Keith Villa was one of the first to pioneer THC-infused beers in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties, manufacturers and bartenders everywhere are getting into the act today as more and more states legalize recreational cannabis.
According to a study by the Brightfield Group, the global cannabis market is on pace to hit $31.4 billion by 2021, with lower-THC products being the most widely accepted around the world. While major brands like Constellation and MolsonCoors have been exploring cannabis-infused beer for some time now, other craft breweries are looking beyond THC and CBD to find new niches — experimenting with both natural and synthetic terpenes to create new and exciting entries into a beverage sector begging for more diversity.
Prediction #2: Craft Beers Will Hold Their Ground While Major Brewers Will Continue to Struggle
For some time now, so-called “mega-brewery” corporations like Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors and Heineken have struggled under the weight of debt and poor domestic sales. This is likely due to the emergence of a new calorie-conscious generation of youngsters, as well as surging support for local state breweries and craft brews among beer drinkers, which has created the fairly recent axiom once you go craft, you don’t go back.
While craft beers are expected to hold steady in 2020, cannabis-infused craft beers are most likely to continue standing out, with many big brewers endeavouring to go the infused beers route to put on a new face in an increasingly oversaturated market.
Prediction #3: Everyone & Their Brother Could Become a Craft Beer Hobbyist in 2020
Anheuser-Busch has recently partnered with beverage giant Keurig to create a home beer brewing system that cranks out DIY crafts at the push of a button. This potentially ingenious move is not limited to debt-besieged Big Beer corporations; major players in the beverage and appliance industries, such as PicoBrew and Korean market superstar LG have already announced plans to release home brewing machines of their own within the next year.
Considering current market trends indicate an accelerating interest in both the craft beer and cannabis industries, don’t be surprised if your neighbors start touting their own family brand cannabis-infused craft beers in the near future.