Cannabis market will grow by addressing consumer needs with premium products and innovative cannabinoid formulations
December 22nd, 2022
News, Top News
In 2023, cannabis consumer taste will become more sophisticated as brands like Wana work to educate customers on the many potentials of the plant
Boulder, Colo. (December 22, 2022) – Wana Brands leadership predicts that the legal, regulated cannabis industry will expand its consumer base by investing in product innovation, including unique cannabinoid formulations to meet specific wellness needs. Product education will receive significant emphasis in 2023 as brands such as Wana seek to engage with consumers curious about the plant’s potential. However, lack of regulatory enforcement in new markets, such as New York, will pose an ongoing challenge to the cannabis industry in 2023.
Growing the consumer base
The popularity of the innovative Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies – which onset in approximately 15 minutes and offset in about three hours – has demonstrated that consumers are craving true innovation in infused cannabis products. Likewise, Wana Optimals – a line showcasing calibrated cannabinoid blends to address specific use cases like better sleep – has demonstrated that the maturing cannabis consumer is looking to manage their wellness needs with increasing precision. In 2023, Wana Brands will continue expanding its Optimals line, which currently includes Optimals Fit, Fast Asleep and Stay Asleep. In addition, reaching consumers through effective education will be critical to explaining the potential of cannabinoids beyond THC.
“Consumers will increasingly recognize the value of cannabis brands that meet specific needs and enable specific experiences rather than evaluating products purely on which ones have the highest level of THC for the lowest cost,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. “The quality of the experience will drive brand choice as consumers become more experienced and discerning when assessing their cannabis options. Ultimately, I think we will see consumers understanding that ‘value’ is about much more than low cost, high THC products.”
A competitive market will shine a light on quality
Even as Wana Brands works to achieve national recognition – adding four additional markets for a presence in 14 states, Puerto Rico and nine Canadian provinces – lack of federal guidance will remain a challenge. The cannabis industry must tackle a litany of regulations – from marketing to banking – unlike any other CPG sector. Most urgently, companies such as Wana continue calling on Congress to pass SAFE Banking so the sector can function like any other regulated and taxed industry. However, the calls continue to fall on deaf ears in Washington, DC, with the likelihood of any helpful federal action unlikely in the foreseeable future.
Lack of regulatory enforcement in key states, such as New York, has allowed the illicit market to flourish while handcuffing legal, tax-paying operators. From bodegas to gifting stores, anybody who wants to sell cannabis illegally is doing just that, with none of the regulation or taxation that comes with being part of the legal market.
“As states like New York allow the illicit market flourish on every street corner, they are creating a bigger issue when the legal market comes online, setting up a situation where legal, safe, regulated brands will be behind from the beginning, adding the double whammy of lack of enforcement coupled with high taxation,” Whiteman said. “New York’s potency tax could add $6 per a hundred-milligram edible at retail. And that’s before you get into the cost of actually producing it. It’s untenable and it will make it much more difficult for legally produced brands to succeed.”
Standing with Community
In 2023, the cannabis industry will continue to provide unprecedented support in communities where the sector operates. Beyond simply tax revenues, the cannabis community has committed extensive resources to address some of the most challenging social issues. One example of this work will be the continued efforts of the Wana Brands Foundation, a $50 million charitable organization working to provide people with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. Established in 2022 by Whiteman with the proceeds of the sale of Wana to Canopy Growth Corp., the Wana Brands Foundation’s areas of focus include Research & Education, Food Security, Shelter, Safety, Mental Health, Sustainability, Community Connection and Social Justice.
With the prospect of publishing authoritative research on the potential of plant medicine, initial gifts included a $2 million gift to Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in support of cannabis and cannabinoid research, as well as a $1 million gift to the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research, which focuses on how psychedelics affect behavior, mood, cognition, brain function, and biological markers of health. In 2023, these funds will be used to facilitate studies including the potential use of cannabinoids to treat autism and the effectiveness of psilocybin as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa and alcohol use in people with major depression.
A Bright Future
Despite the challenges, there are many bright spots for the cannabis industry. New states continue to legalize adult-use cannabis, with Missouri and Maryland poised to enact their recreational programs in 2023. Winning brands will look to grow the market through education rather than joining the race to the bottom in pricing. As consumer tastes mature, according to Whiteman and other leaders at Wana, they will recognize the power of the cannabis plant goes beyond intoxication. With access to more research, such as the work being conducted by the Johns Hopkins Cannabis lab, the industry can advance the understanding of the effective use of cannabis for a wide range of health and wellness benefits. These efforts will continue to reach wider audiences with more sophisticated formulations that allow people to achieve specific effects and experiences versus solely seeking the highest intoxication for the lowest cost possible.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Shawna Seldon McGregor at 917-971-7852 or [email protected].
Wana Brands: Enhance Your Life
With North America’s largest distribution footprint, cannabis edibles producer Wana Brands is a top international brand available in 14 U.S. states, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and nine Canadian provinces and territories, generating close to $300 million in retail sales annually across more than 3,000 dispensaries. Through industry-leading innovation, Wana is developing cutting-edge use-case formulations and recipes, such as Wana Quick Fast-Acting Gummies, the top-selling quick-onset edible, and the Optimals Fast Asleep formulation. Wana is committed to the communities it serves by supporting more than 50 charitable organizations in the markets where the company operates. For more information or to subscribe to Wana’s e-newsletter, visit www.wanabrands.com. Follow Wana on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest. Subscribe to Wana’s Enhance Your Life Podcast.
This article was published by CFN Enterprises Inc. (OTCQB: CNFN), owner and operator of CFN Media, the industry’s leading agency and digital financial media network dedicated to the burgeoning CBD and legal cannabis industries. Call +1 (833) 420-CNFN for more information.
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