While legal U.S. cannabis sales are projected to exceed $50 billion by 2026, economic expansion for the industry will truly flourish when the plant is permitted to be legally consumed at scale in social settings. 

Before we begin to see Super Bowl commercials with taglines such as “this bud’s for you” or “it’s marijuana time”, innovative entrepreneurs today with limited guidance from authorities are sparking up solutions.

Based on periodic reporting on the topic since 2021 (combined with three decades of personal observation and participation), here are three things industry operators should understand about social cannabis consumption

  1. Rules, regulations and how they are enforced by local authorities vary dramatically by state and municipality. The Muskegon Cannabash Festival in Michigan last July, for instance, attracted 7,500 attendees and more than 50 licensed retailers. Legal social consumption events in newer and more heavily regulated markets like Illinois typically attract between a few dozen and a few hundred paying customers. 
  2. Municipal guidance on what is permissible is opaque. Event organizers, according to Phil Cooper of High-Minded Events, “operate within the compliance that we know.” Lack of clarity from the powers that be makes it difficult for event organizers and venues to invest more in this hospitality category. 
  3. Limiting or prohibiting booze is a breath of fresh air. You kind of have to experience it for yourself to understand, but the vibe is materially different when social imbibement is not oriented towards alcohol.

Join a panel of experts as we explore how public consumption has evolved and what the future could look like as consumer trends shift towards lounges, micro-dosing, and social gatherings.

Future of Cannabis: Public Consumption Session 

Wednesday February 22nd 12:00-1:15pm CST