Trends and Challenges for Those With Cannabis Industry Careers to Watch in 2021

This past year lay witness to challenges for many business niches as a result of the global pandemic. However, cannabis was one sector that was relatively unscathed and in some ways benefitted from the pandemic. Many are predicting continued expansion and additional shifts that could bode well for the cannabis industry in 2021. 

To understand more on what to expect in the next year, let’ take a closer look at a few of the trends and challenges trade insiders are discussing.

Continued Adaptations to the COVID Business Reality

The majority of businesses that have managed to survive the pandemic, regardless of niche, have done so by adopting and improving existing virtual platforms to cope with the public demand for online services. Cannabis dispensaries have followed suit, with many operators continuing to develop such offerings as product delivery and curb-side pickup. Students in cannabis industry courses will also be interested to hear about the finer details licensed retailers must consider in view of online shopping increasingly replacing the in-store experience. To ensure the consumer gets the best representation of a product online for purchasing evaluation, retailers should ensure:

  • The product listing stands out visually on the website, using high-resolution imagery
  • All relevant details are included with the product description
  • All ingredients of the product are listed

While it’s still not possible to predict how the pandemic will play out in 2021, retailers are likely to continue to develop the online shopping format to cope with the demand for such services. It may even prove to become a preferred purchasing option with consumers who have become accustomed to the practicality and convenience of the format. With this in mind, many businesses in other niches are already predicting the continued use of adapted online services long after the pandemic.

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Dispensaries should continue to improve online services to handle ongoing demand for the format

Expect New Waves of Investment

Prior to the pandemic, the cannabis industry in Canada was already learning to adapt to a substantial downturn in bankroll, caused by some of the industry’s earliest investors getting cold feet when a return on investment wasn’t happening as fast as anticipated following the initial optimism of legalization in 2018. With many pulling the plug on funding, a wave of production site closures resulted across the country in 2019.

Some industry insiders are forecasting a reversal of this trend for 2021, however, with a capital injection expected sometime in the second business quarter of the year. The prediction is based on the idea that investors will be keen to funnel capital back into the industry when they can see an improved business outlook.

Expansion is once again on the horizon with lots of new investment capital expected for 2021

Higher Quality and Potency Expectations Those in Cannabis Industry Careers Should Be Aware of

A challenge that persists in the cannabis industry is finding ways to develop product with the highest THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content. As an example, concentrations of THC in some extracts have been known to be rated as high as 99%. The best concentrates are considered to be those containing levels of at least 80% THC, with consumers dictating a distinct preference for these higher THC strains. The ability of producers to consistently generate those strains, however, is another matter.

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2021 will see even more competition between producers looking to generate the highest THC percentage

In 2021, those with cannabis industry careers should be on the lookout for producers releasing new and ever more exclusive strains. In the race to meet consumer demand, it’s also possible that cultivators will increasingly hire specialists who can help them fine tune the budgetary aspects of production, such as quality assurance experts and master extractors. 

Are you interested in taking specialized training in the pursuit of one of many exciting possible cannabis careers? 

Contact the Academy of Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences for more information on its Cannabis Management, Quality and Edibles diploma program!


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