cannabis product development companies

The Future of Cannabis Product Development Companies: Emerging Trends and Innovations

This post explores hot new trends and innovations shaping the world of cannabis product development companies. Discover what’s on the horizon!

The cannabis industry is still in the early stages. The most established recreational market in the country is barely a decade old, and new markets come online each year. This makes cannabis ripe for innovation as brands and consumers are constantly seeking the brightest and best ways to enjoy the plant, and cannabis product development companies are leading the way.

The Rise of Cannabis Product Development Companies

Product innovation in cannabis is driven by forward-thinking companies. While tried-and-true methods of consumption (like rolling up a joint) will never go out of style, the increase in cannabis availability opens the door to new consumers who would never have participated in the legacy market. To increase market share and pull new customers in, companies have to try new things. Some experimentations crash and burn quickly (who can forget the backlash against Canna Bumps?) while others open a door of possibility.

Cannabis product development companies focus on this experimentation, conducting consumer research and pushing the envelope on cannabis product offerings.

Puffco: Concentrates Consumption Development

Dabbing got its first major upgrade through Puffco, an accessories company that used tech advances to create a better way to consume concentrates. Say goodbye to the banger and blowtorch — Puffco products make it easy to consume concentrates, control your dosage, and enjoy the experience with their line of high-tech dabbing devices.

QwikLiquids: Upgrading Nanoemulsion for Edibles 

Canna-beverages are an exploding product sector for cannabis, but the challenges of mixing oil-based cannabinoid extracts into beverages without a bitter taste confounded many companies. Qwik Liquids developed a proprietary, water-soluble nanotechnology material that makes it easy (and delicious) to make infused beverages.

Tetragram: Harnessing Tech Advances for Medical Providers 

The gap between cannabis consumers and the medical industry has existed for as long as prohibition has — but medical professionals can learn as much from consumers as consumers can from them. Tetragram is a consumption-tracking app that allows users to get granular with their product tracking and connect with medical providers. The app uses the consumer data it collects to inform product purchasing choices and help medical professionals better understand the range of responses people can have to cannabis products.

Emerging Product Categories

Where can you expect to see the most innovation in cannabis products in the coming months? (Or, where should you focus your R&D efforts?)

  • Infused beverages. Cannabis beverages are one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. Headset, a cannabis data-tracking company, reported that purchases of beverages grew 40% between 2021 and 2022, signaling significant consumer interest in these products.
  • Skincare and topicals. Like cannabis, the beauty industry is always innovating — and CBD offers a new door of product possibility. From pain-relief topicals to skin serums and infused mascaras, CBD is the current darling of the beauty industry.
  • Alternative Delivery Methods. Smoking weed isn’t going anywhere, but many people don’t want to, or can’t smoke to consume. Alternative methods like transdermal patches, that allow continuous release of cannabinoids over 8 – 12 hours, and inhalers have a tiny percentage of the market share — but provide a valuable method of consumption for many people. These products are more common in the medical side of the industry, but you can expect to see them trickle into recreational dispensaries.
  • Cannabis-infused Pharmaceuticals. Cannabis is a pharmacy in a plant, so incorporating specific cannabinoids into medications is the obvious step for the pharmaceutical industry. Epidiolex and Sativex were just the beginning.

Research and Development Initiatives

How can you capture lightning in a bottle with cannabis product development? It starts with a focus on research. Companies that don’t innovate are not likely to just stumble across the next big thing — it takes research and development to push the envelope. R&D has multiple benefits – the more research that is done, the more we expand our collective scientific knowledge of this plant and validate the therapeutic potential of cannabis compounds.

Consider experimenting with different minor cannabinoids like CBG and CBC, or focusing on preserving the terpene profiles in your products. Technology advances like nanotech can help you make better infusions and novel ingredients like botanical extracts and adaptogens can help you stand out on a crowded shelf.

But you can’t have just anyone in the lab. You need a master grower to lead cultivation and you need a scientist to lead research. Before you break ground on a new lab, consider a collaborative partnership with academic institutions and research organizations in your community or state.

For example, research organization, Industrial Hemp Research Foundation has partnered with LIM College to offer students a competition in hemp fabric innovation. Skincare brand Element Apothec has a team of medical advisors to lead their product innovation. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel — partnerships are a better way forward.

Innovation can come in many forms, and real-world data on how your customers are using your products can help you innovate your marketing. Clinical trials and market research studies can help understand the exact benefits your customers are seeing from products. This data can also be used to help inform regulatory decisions that allow for greater product innovation.

And good products don’t need to be changed — sometimes they just need a fresh look. Cannabis consumers tend to be eco-savvy, and many are interested in reducing their carbon footprint and single-use waste. Highlighting your sustainable practices is another way to stand out.

Challenges and Opportunities For Cannabis Product Development Companies

The challenges faced by cannabis companies embarking on product development aren’t unique to this industry. Regulator complexities are similar to those in the pharmaceutical industry, especially around compliance requirements and legal frameworks for R&D and insurance.

Quality control is a challenge, and creating a sustainable standardized process to ensure product consistency and safety is a challenge posed to every cannabis business. There is no one way to overcome this, but a top-down attitude of compliance and safety is necessary for success. Regular quality control checkpoints and safety audits can help too.

Standing out in a crowded market is a challenge for cannabis brands, but it can also be an opportunity for creativity. Limitations on packaging appearance and marketing outlets are frustrations, but they force companies to find new ways to reach consumers. Standing out requires getting very clear on who your company is, what you do, and who you do it for.

Future Outlook and Predictions

Cannabis product development won’t be slowing down anytime soon. With or without federal legalization/de-scheduling, people are voting to legalize cannabis in their state across the country. Every time a new market comes online, it opens a door of possibilities for innovative entrepreneurs and vocal consumers.

Good flower won’t leave dispensaries, but it will be forced to share more shelf space with other kinds of cannabis products. CBD products are commonly found in grocery stores these days and as other cannabinoids come into mainstream awareness, they will likely join.

All of this presents an enormous opportunity for resilient and passionate business owners who are interested in making their mark on the cannabis industry.

Protecting your cannabis company can seem confusing; however, we’re a full-service insurance brokerage working with carriers worldwide to offer you the best coverage possible. We’re here to help! Please reach out to us today by email [email protected] or calling 646-854-1093 for a customized letter or learning more about your cannabis insurance options.

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