How healthy will the CBD market be in 2023?

Technavio has announced its latest market research report titled CBD Oil Market by Product and Geography – Forecast and Analysis 2021-2025

How healthy will the CBD market be in 2023?

Predicting the future of a market is difficult enough at the best of times. Predicting the future of a market as new as CBD in an economy like the one we have is near impossible.

Not totally impossible though.

There are enough signals and enough data out there to be able to make some predictions with an acceptable degree of accuracy.

That has allowed us to make a number of predictions we are confident enough to put our name behind.

The market is still in flux and state legislatures are being a little slow off the mark in some places. Yet there is enough of a trend to be able to create a relatively clear picture of what the future holds for the CBD market in 2023.

This report is concerned with CBD products and medical use. Recreational use of weed and THC products are outside the scope of this report. We do refer to THC products within the report but only to add context for the wider market.

Here’s what we think we know:


Attractive Opportunities in Cannabidiol Market by Source and Geography – Forecast and Analysis 2021-2025

Our main prediction for the CBD market in 2023 is growth across the board.

CBD products are proving their worth in medicine, pain management, treating stress and anxiety and several other areas.

Once people realized that CBD was different from THC and they wouldn’t get high using a CBD product, acceptance skyrocketed.

Even though the pandemic is over, we are still enduring tough times. With health costs rising, CBD products offer an accessible, viable alternative.

That’s one of the many reasons why we predict growth over the coming year.

We also factor in those states slow off the mark to legalize weed and, CBD products in particular.

In all, 37 states have legalized cannabis for medical use. We expect at least some of the other 13 states to legalize medical use at some point in the future.

While we are concentrating on CBD and medical use, there is an inherent link between CBD and THC products when it comes to legislation. There are currently 21 states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

They are:

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

Recent elections in Arkansas, South Dakota and North Dakota recently voted down legalization for recreational use. Similar elections in Maryland and Missouri approved legalization according to CNN. It is very unlikely that these states will be the last to vote on legalization, as 91% of Americans apparently support it.

Medical use of CBD products has much wider acceptance across all 50 states and across society as a whole. As more data becomes available, we expect that acceptance to increase.

This will all feed into that growth.

Thirdly, we also predict growth in new markets.

While still regarded as an outlier, the CBD industry is gradually gaining legitimacy.

There hasn’t been the rise in crime people predicted and CBD products have yet to prove itself a ‘gateway drug’ to harder substances. A common argument in those who didn’t want to legalize it.

That argument was mainly one of ignorance and of assuming that CBD products have the same impact as legalized weed even though they are completely different.

This is where clearer lines between CBD and THC will be beneficial. The more people recognize the differences between medical use of CBD products and THC products, the better. This rise in legitimacy and a potential increase in reliable science backing up medicinal claims will very likely lead to wider acceptance across areas of society traditionally against the use of CBD.

Survival of the fittest

We think there’s going to be a rationalization of the current established CBD market in 2023.

We predict that some companies are going to begin swallowing the competition to add economies of scale, acquire market share and talent.

We may even see some states consolidating at a much higher level. Forbes said much the same thing back in 2021 and we consider the same will happen in 2023.

“Huge companies have been hesitant to embrace CBD as its initially “Wild West” market goes through growing pains. But once the regulatory landscape clears and stabilizes, I

believe many corporate giants will look to diversify their product lines with CBD and add brand-new products that open avenues of growth.

“Companies like Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Unilever and more may get into the game, and they’ll do it through acquisitions of existing CBD market leaders.”

Some who did exceptionally well will expand and consolidate their hold on the market. They may swallow up smaller operations to round out capabilities or provide another link in the production chain.

Processors may acquire growers, wholesalers may acquire product manufacturers and so on. You will likely see more mention of big brands like CVS and Walgreens associated with CBD products over the coming year.

We think it will be a considered approach though.

We have all seen how big tech used to go on buying sprees and spend over the odds for niche companies.

We think it will be more measured here.

Competitors, or likely acquisitions, will be identified and purchased and we’ll begin to see a more corporate approach to CBD product production and distribution.

While not always a good thing, the rise of the CBD corporation will probably continue in earnest throughout 2023.

The increased use of celebrities and influencers

We have seen a sharp rise in the use of celebrities and social media influencers in marketing over the past decade. We think this same approach will increasingly be used to promote more CBD products.

As the CBD market is gaining legitimacy, fewer celebrities will be reticent about becoming involved.

Now promoting crypto has become so risky, there’s a gap in the market for celebrities and influencers to promote something that will appeal to their target market.

Something that isn’t flooded already and is gaining traction across society.

We may not see the Kardashians using CBD oil on one of their shows, but we predict a slow increase in the number of celebrity-endorsed CBD products. The Rolling Stone did a piece back in 2021 extolling the virtues of celebrity endorsement. We consider the sentiments from that piece to be as relevant now and into 2023 as it was when it was first written.

Even though it refers to legalized weed, the same is also true of CBD.

CBD product banking reform

Banks have been almost as slow as state legislatures to embrace the new reality of CBD, but we think that will change in 2023. Whether it’s part of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act or something else entirely, this is the last link in the chain. While aimed at the other side of the cannabis market, the CBD element will also benefit from this legislation if it passes.

Any company involved in CBD knows that handling and legitimately banking cash is a problem.

In those states where recreational use is legal, it’s even more of a problem.

It leads to logistical problems in how and where to store the cash. It leads to administrative problems in how to manage taxes, payroll and business expenses.

It also feeds crime, which is the one thing the cannabis market as a whole cannot afford to do.

The industry is cash-rich and everyone knows it. People also know banking that cash can be problematic for smaller businesses.

That makes them a prime target for crime. Easy cash is a no-brainer for some elements of society and that’s something that must be tackled.

Hopefully, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act or whatever comes after can help with that.

Banks and financial institutions will be able to better service CBD companies and take care of all that cash.

It will add even more legitimacy to the industry and help reduce the risk vector provided by all that cash. It’s a win win if legislators recognize the opportunity.

Even if the SAFE Act doesn’t go far enough, the industry will have to evolve to minimize risk and better handle the administrative side of the business.

More female leadership

One surprising way the entire weed industry has been ahead of the curve is with female leadership. There are several women in charge of influential companies and in leadership roles across the industry.

This must be encouraged at all costs.

Not only are women a key market for CND products, they are also 51% of the population and are equally, if not more than, capable as men at managing businesses.

This is fantastic news for the industry as there are some trailblazers out there right now.

It’s also fantastic news for the country at large. Even big tech and ‘more modern’ enterprises have been slow off the mark to recognize the potential of women in leadership roles.

If the CBD industry leads and proves itself successful because of it, the rest of society could follow.

That can only be a good thing. According to NBC, Gen Z women are the fastest-growing market for weed in general. We already know they are a prime market for CBD products. The industry isn’t going to continue attracting that demographic unless they are fairly represented across the industry at all levels. From what we have seen, the embracing of social equity within the CBD and the legalized cannabis market took everyone by surprise. A pleasant surprise to be sure, but it’s unlike other areas of American society.

We for one hope that continues well into 2023!

Further diversity in CBD products

Right now, CBD products are aimed at medicinal purposes and are rapidly gaining acceptance in a range of medical settings. However, we have also noticed an increase in lifestyle use of CBD.

There is a noticeable increase in the use of CBD products to unwind, de-stress and relax as well as for medical uses.

Given how modern life is right now, people are increasingly looking for ways to lower stress and anxiety that won’t impact their health.

This attitude should be embraced. Traditional ways of relaxing typically include alcohol or drug use, both of which can have negative outcomes.

The ride of CBD as a relaxant offers major benefits over those and we think it’s something that will gain traction as understanding increases.

Online ordering and delivery

Online ordering and delivery saw a huge boom during the pandemic and after. We think this trend is going to continue well into 2023.

We are all getting used to ordering online and having either curbside pickup or delivery that it’s becoming a big part of how we consume.

It makes CBD feel like any other industry from Amazon to Uber Eats. This is a comforting feeling we think will encourage increased consumption and help wider acceptances in society.

The more CBD emulates widely accepted industries, the more like those industries it will be perceived to be.

The more accepted it is, the less it will be seen as an outlier and the more acceptance it should experience. The State of the Cannabis Industry report in 2020 showed stored that had ordering facilities sold 22% more product than those that didn’t.

That shows there is a demand for this facility and tangible benefits for stores to provide it.

While that report refers to cannabis more than CBD, it will be relevant to both.

Following in the footsteps of alcohol

In many respects CBD is already following in the footsteps of alcohol. It is treading carefully after prohibition to keep public opinion on side and to not do anything to make legislators change their mind.

It is also working hard to gain legitimacy and wider acceptance, just like alcohol after prohibition.

There is also the question of advertising.

For the longest time, you would never see adverts for liquor in many states. You would see beer ads everywhere, but strong liquor was conspicuous by its absence.

Only when drinks manufacturers got together and agreed a code of practice did you begin to see ads for liquor.

They all carried the ‘safe in moderation’ message, which was on the right side of the line for all concerned.

We think the CBD industry will try something similar. It works for liquor, so why wouldn’t it work?

A similar ‘safe in moderation’ message would resonate well with all areas of society. It’s a mantra that is used across the country, from food manufacture to medicine so it’s a message we are all familiar with.

We think the CBD industry could also benefit more from similar messaging.

This would allay fears held by many who are against legalization for medical use. Fears that everyone would overindulge and our hospitals would be full of people suffering from addiction or negative effects and jails full of criminals fueled by the use of new CBD products derived from cannabis.

If anything, aside from time and education, can allay such fears, it’s a coordinated advertising campaign that the entire industry can agree on.

We think 2023 may be the year the CBD industry uses the lessons of liquor and self-regulate so they can advertise more.

Increased awareness of health benefits

Our final prediction for the CBD industry for 2023 is a significant increase in the awareness of health benefits.

That includes medical use, treating PTSD, use for other conditions, pain management and the benefits of CBD versus addictive pharmaceuticals.

The public is becoming increasingly aware of the negative effects of some pharmaceuticals as well as the negative impacts of big pharma and the industry as a whole.

While CBD products don’t seek to supplant big pharma in any way, we predict people will continue exploring alternatives to traditional medication.

This will be drive both by cost and by accessibility. The United States pays more for prescription medication than any other country in the world. Those costs are increasing month on month and show no signs of slowing down.

CBD products are accessible to those without medical insurance or with lower tier insurance that doesn’t cover many traditional medications.

It is also accessible without having to consult a physician (in legal states), which lowers the cost and barrier to entry.

While there are fears of addiction with legalized weed, they are nothing compared to the opioid epidemic.

We think all these factors will influence younger users and will gradually spread to older users as more science appears and CBD becomes much more widely accepted as a treatment.

We have come a long way over the past few years but there is more yet to do.

The CBD market in 2023

Predictions are always tough. Industries, governments and the consumer public just love to throw curveballs and keep us on our toes.

However, we think the data and the industry’s evolution is providing clear indications for each of these predictions.

The CBD industry is an exciting place to be. It’s thriving, finding its feet and blazing its own trail. A bit like bit tech in the late 1990s and early 2000s, only with a little more planning and forethought!

There is a lot that’s out of our control but a lot that we can control. Balancing the business with these two competing factors is a challenge but a challenge most in the industry are more than up to!

Oklahoma medical marijuana demand exceed expectations by a significant margin

Despite only having been legal for a little over a year, (October 2018), the medical marijuana business in Oklahoma is booming. The demand for and sale of, medical marijuana has far outstripped any projections from the city, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority and even suppliers had made.

Data released by the Oklahoma Tax Commission has shown that sales of medical marijuana in the state exceeded $258 million in the first ten months of this year. New projections have sales exceeding $350 million by year end, increasing further during 2020.

Growing market

Despite being late to the party, demand in Oklahoma has surpassed states that had already legalized medical cannabis. States like Illinois, Maryland and Ohio all had a strong start and are showing rapid growth but have been eclipsed by Oklahoma.

As of November 1, licensed users of medical cannabis have surpassed 210,000 with more applications awaiting processing. The initial estimate of applications stood at around 25,000 for 2019. We are likely to see ten times that estimate by year end.

That number, 210,000 is almost 5% of the state’s population. That’s more licensed users per head than any other state in the country.

Some of this growth has been attributed to Oklahoma’s ‘friendly’ free market system that allows for unlimited business licenses, accessible industrial premises, straightforward compliance and regulations and the prevention of zoning restrictions from local authorities which may impact the industry.

Doctors can also recommend medical marijuana for any condition they like.

The combination of this, plus an open willingness to use medical marijuana has resulted in huge growth in the state. As of November 2019, there were license applications from:

  • 4,931 medical cannabis growers.
  • 1,415 medical cannabis processors.
  • 2,168 dispensaries.

It isn’t clear whether all of these licenses have resulted in operating businesses but the number of applications is impressive!

The combination of being business friendly, allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana however they like and the number of businesses popping up to supply this demand means the industry in Oklahoma is going to keep growing from strength to strength. While it will of course reach saturation at some point, it is likely to be a long time yet before we see it!

Oklahoma leading the nation in cultivation licensing

Oklahoma may have been a little late to the MMJ party but it soon caught up. According to the latest 2020 data, the state issued more cultivation licenses for medical marijuana than anywhere else in the country.

Even more than California!

Oklahoma cultivation licenses

According to data from Cannabiz Media, Oklahoma gave out more cannabis cultivation licenses than California and Michigan who came second and third.

The data has Oklahoma approving 2,392 new cultivation licenses for medical marijuana in 2020.

From left, Jake Chilcoat, executive vice president, and Matt Baker, president, pose for a photo with one-pound bags of cannabis flowers before they are broken down into grams at CBD Plus USA, 420 N Pennsylvania, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

California was second with 2,304 and Michigan a distant third with 333.

That means there are a total of 18,172 legal cultivation businesses out there, with a significant portion of them right here in Oklahoma.

The latest figures have us with a total of 5,265 licenses in all.

Oklahoma, California, Michigan, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have 89% of the cannabis cultivation market between them. With more on the way.

Cash crop

It isn’t all about the licenses either. Oklahoma made $6 million out of licensing in 2020. It also registered $25 million from commercial medical marijuana licenses in 2020. That’s double the previous year!

With no limit on the number of plants or the size of facility in Oklahoma, it seems our fair state is the place to be if you need medical marijuana!

Sales of MMJ in Oklahoma reflects this explosive growth.

In 2019, the state measured $385 million in MMJ sales. That was set to double in 2020. That’s almost $800 million, from a new crop!

Part of that increase in sales must be down to the pandemic. Some of it also the increased awareness of the new industry and availability of Cannabis cards.

Either way, that’s important income for the state that could be put to good use given the state of the economy right now.

Crops help coping with COVID

For those who need pain relief or use marijuana for medical reasons, the pandemic has been a tough time. While we have been more relaxed than many countries, we have still suffered at the hands of the pandemic.

Fortunately, Oklahoma was ahead of the curve, again. The state declared medical marijuana businesses as essential, allowing them to stay open and even offer curbside pickup services to customers.

Dispensaries were made exempt from the stay at home order and classed as essential businesses. While small print prevents full delivery to customers, dispensaries are permitted curbside deliveries.

Many have taken this up and provide the service to their local customers.

Whatever else is going on in the state, in the country and in the world, the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry is going from strength to strength. Growth is rapid and so far, none of the fears of legalizing MMJ have been realized.

As long as those trends continue, Oklahoma and MMJ have a bright future!

Dixie Brands entering the Oklahoma medical marijuana industry

Dixie Brands Logo

One of the best-known brands in the industry, Dixie Brands has announced it will be entering the burgeoning medical marijuana market in Oklahoma. Thanks to a manufacturing and licensing agreement, they should be entering the market in in early 2020.

Dixie Brands is well known for its range of marijuana-infused mints, topicals, elixirs and gummies. They initially had an agreement with another company but have changed their partner to a different operator local to Oklahoma. That company has requested anonymity for a short while before having their name published.

Dixie in Oklahoma

The agreement will mean Dixie Brands will work with this partner to use Dixie branded products, proprietary formulas and what they call  ‘GMP’ (Good Manufacturing Practices), quality control procedures and associated trademarks in the state of Oklahoma.

“We are excited to enter into this agreement with such a well-established partner to introduce Dixie products to Oklahoma ” said Chuck Smith, president and CEO, Dixie Brands. “The state has embraced legal cannabis over the past year, and we have high expectations for our comprehensive portfolio of award-winning products within such an established distribution network offering real speed to market.”

Dixie said they changed their partner because the new arrangement offered a much faster move to market and a wider distribution base. As the Oklahoma medical marijuana market is booming, getting to market fast is going to be a key component of the success or failure of the venture.

Oklahoma only legalized medical marijuana just over a year ago and already there have been thousands of licenses given to businesses and over 250,000 medical use licenses applied for. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said they have already issued 1,700 dispensary licenses and the number is growing steadily.

With user, grower, processor and dispensary numbers growing, it’s a great time to enter the Oklahoma market. The Dixie Brands partnership will offer a range of innovative products and more consumer choice to that market. That’s a move that will benefit everyone involved.

Two charged with selling medical marijuana to people without a card

Two employees at an Oklahoma City medical marijuana dispensary have been charged with supplying to customers who don’t have a medical marijuana license. It’s a wakeup call to all dispensaries to improve their training and be much more aware of who is buying and who is selling.

The two employees were caught by an undercover cop in Oklahoma City. The cop bought medical marijuana on three different occasions from Herb-N-Legends dispensary located near Northwest 26th Street and North MacArthur Boulevard without the proper license. This resulted in charges being brought against the two employees who served the cop for illegal distribution of marijuana.

State law in Oklahoma requires all medical marijuana dispensaries to check for a valid license before the sale.

“Some evidence was seized from the business pertaining to these illegal sales,” said Sgt. Megan Morgan, with the Oklahoma City Police Department. That evidence apparently includes CTV footage from the store showing the transaction and the employees not checking for the medical marijuana license.

Tightening ship

This news should act as a wakeup call to all medical marijuana dispensaries. This is a new industry that is often tolerated grudgingly and not without bad feeling. It’s an industry that while legal, still needs to work extra hard to ensure it stays on the right side of the law and play the game well enough to stay legal and compliant at all times.

This incident shows that all dispensaries need to improve staff training and oversight and ensure every employee knows state law, the correct procedure for selling medical marijuana and the penalties for not complying with those laws.

The bust has gotten news coverage and is generating the kind of negative PR the medical marijuana industry doesn’t need. If used as a learning opportunity by dispensaries in Oklahoma City, hopefully we should not see this kind of story again!

Oklahoma licenses 7,000 medical marijuana businesses in first year

Oklahoma is one of the later states to legalize medical marijuana but they haven’t been slow in coming forward. Just a year after legalizing the industry, sources have said the state has issued 7,300 licenses to operate medical cannabis-related businesses.

That’s a lot of activity within a single year of an industry being legal!

According to the Medical Marijuana Authority, those licenses break down as:

  • Growers: 4,287
  • Processors: 1,173
  • Dispensaries: 1,848

That’s a healthy start for such a new market and offers a decent balance between supply and demand. With twice as many growers as processors and dispensaries, the industry as it stands should be able to sustain itself over the longer term.

This is on top of the news that Oklahoma has licensed over 200,000 medical marijuana patients, has created a new business license category called transporter, specifically for the MMJ industry and has begun a tender process for laboratory testing licenses for the testing of medical marijuana for compliance.

Regulators are also considering a new industry standard for compliance that will span the entire industry. That will include labeling, product testing, waste management and seed-to-sale tracking. That last is already in force with demands businesses provide a complete audit trail of the entire business.

All new medical marijuana license applications must come from Oklahoma residents who can provide that 75% of the company’s ownership is resident in the state.

The state is doing a lot of work to create an ecosystem that delivers the regulation required to operate to modern standards while not stifling innovation and business creation. Despite only being a year old, the industry is maturing at pace and the authorities are mostly managing to keep up.

Aside from local authorities trying to shut down the industry or trying to implement more restrictive rules over medical marijuana, it seems the genie is well and truly out of the bottle and public opinion and the law is on medical marijuana’s side.

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