The global cannabis packaging industry is in a state of transition from an illegal to a legal market, and there will be a number of winners and losers. Large national brands and producers with economies of scale will win. The small producer and retailer will lose without laws protecting them from competition.
Smithers latest market report, ‘The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024’
forecasts the global cannabis packaging market value will reach $1.6 billion in 2024. This growth creates supply challenges, as do changing government regulations.
Government regulations have favoured decentralised cannabis production. The result is many small integrated producers. The market is characterised by many small customers doing much of the packaging and labelling by hand. Distributors of speciality/pharma packaging with local inventories are key suppliers, as are online sales from China.
Smithers’ analysis for ‘The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024’ identifies the following key trends and drivers for the global cannabis packaging industry over the next five years:
- Many countries have decriminalised cannabis and allow its limited use for medical purposes. Cannabis and CBD will be proven medically as a useful natural product.
- Recreational cannabis is legal in three countries and 10 US states. Most developed countries will tax and regulate cannabis. Where onerous regulations and taxes remain, the underground market will thrive. Packaging regulations will change often and quickly. Pouches with best available technology and child resistance will also gain market share.
- At present single-use cannabis packaging and vape cartridges are treated as waste. Over the forecast period glass packaging is used and more automation. Also, small, flexible-barrier film packaging systems to be widely employed.
- Currently, vaporizing concentrates are gaining popularity over smoking cannabis. New cannabis formulations will be developed for rapid delivery and lower cost. Packaging systems for vape cartridges will require more robust packages.
- Germany has been importing medical cannabis from Canada; complaints force Canadians to use preservations and Germans to suspend imports. The future will involve intelligent and advanced packaging technologies that eliminate the need for preservatives.
- Vaping concentrates from branded delivery technology with nationally recognised packaging will dominate the market.
Smithers latest report, ‘The Future of Cannabis Packaging to 2024’
covers the market trends and drivers relevant to the cannabis product types, regulatory environment, packaging designs and technical requirements. The study will profile key companies, brands and strategies to show the wide variety of packages being used for cannabis products. A number of case studies of cannabis packaging will be presented; these will reveal how innovative designs are embraced and how sustainability is a key component of cannabis packages in the customer’s mind. CBD and products infused with it will not be reviewed in this report, as it is mainly unregulated and sold in OTC products everywhere.
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