2022 Slated to be the Year of Cannabis

Headset, a market research firm, released their second forecast on the cannabis industry – and the growth is astounding. Their first projections, published last quarter, estimated the U.S. cannabis market would top out around $28.3 billion in sales in 2022. Now, taking into account new cannabis markets like Alabama, Connecticut and New Mexico, their latest projections estimate the market will exceed $30 billion in sales in the next year.

The report declares 2022 to be a “year of positive growth”, citing no indications that the industry will slow down. Recreational cannabis use is legalized in 18 states and the District of Columbia, and it’s decriminalized in 13 more. You can read the full report here.

Savvy operators should absolutely be monitoring the nascent industry. While laws vary wildly between states, potential opportunities are emerging for bars and restaurants. This year’s Bar & Restaurant Expo (formerly Nightclub & Bar Show) even had a dedicated conference session on the cannabis market, led by Chris Walsh, CEO & President of Hemp Industry Daily.

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Currently, there are strict restrictions on how cannabis and cannabinoids – including cannabidiol, or CBD, a popular, non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant that is believed to provide relief from anxiety, depression, pain and insomnia – can be used commercially. Even CBD cocktails, which don’t contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are a legal grey area; federally they’re illegal, but some states have their own CBD-related laws. Contact a legal expert in your market to make sure you’re complying with all laws.

Once you cross into THC territory, things get even trickier. Especially when it comes to spirits. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau explicitly forbids the combination of alcohol and weed. In some states, like California, businesses aren’t even allowed to sell alcohol and cannabis at the same location, or they risk losing their liquor license.

Despite the complex regulations, big name alcohol producers have started dabbling in the emerging market. Alcohol-free cannabis beverages are a marriage of three powerful trends: ready to drink cocktails (RTDs), zero-proof cocktails and cannabis. The low and no alcohol segment is one of the fasted growing industry trends to date, expected to reach a staggering $1 trillion by 2024. Canned cocktails are also a rapidly growing segment within the food and beverage industry. It is estimated that RTD sales will reach $146 billion by 2030.

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If you’re interested in learning more about the cannabis industry and how operators can take advantage of its growing popularity, keep checking barandrestaurant.com for more information. Laws and restrictions vary between states, so as always, please consult a legal professional in your market before adding any cannabinoid products to your menu.

A number of new products are expected to hit the market soon, including a THC seltzer called Wynk, cannabis-infused wines from Vin D’Fleur and more seltzers from 8th Wonder Brewery, to name a few. For those curious about entering the market now, here are a few of the most popular alcohol-free cannabis beverages, including seltzers, kombuchas, wines and beers.


Hi-Fi Hops

House of Saka

Legal Beverages

Pabst Blue Ribbon cannabis-infused seltzer

The Good Stuff Tonics THC Kombucha

Viv & Oak

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