Denver, CO

What’s in store for the cannabis industry in 2022? See what this Denver thought leader has to say

Margaret Jackson

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By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) January is a time for predictions and forecasts in just about any industry, and cannabis is no exception.

Ricardo Baca, a marijuana industry thought leader, launched Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency in 2016 to work directly with business leaders in highly regulated industries, including cannabis, energy and traditional healthcare. He’s received numerous accolades for his work covering drug policy, cannabis business and culture, including being named ADCANN Marketer of the Year.

Like many CEOs, Baca offers his expertise and knowledge to those wondering what’s in store for the cannabis industry. He detailed his thoughts in a recent newsletter Grasslands released this week.

States across the country and countries worldwide are looking at Colorado as a model for how to structure their own regulations as the Centennial State is on track to become the third most-profitable cannabis market in the U.S. by the end of 2022, Baca said.

“This year, Colorado and its veteran operators will become one of the hottest markets for cannabis M&A activity in the country,” Baca wrote in the newsletter. “Sure, out-of-state operators like Columbia Care, Curaleaf, PharmaCann and Eaze made sizable strategic moves into the Centennial State in 2021 — but that will not hold a candle to what we’re about to witness in the world’s most experienced legal cannabis market in 2022.”

NIMBYism

While Colorado is a leader in the effort to normalize cannabis, there are still many prohibitionists who are a serious threat to the industry. With that in mind, it’s more important than ever to stop their attempts to implement THC-potency caps, and regulators must rely on scientific data to guide potential reforms.

“When alcohol kills more than 70,000 Americans a year and the CDC tells us cannabis has never been responsible for even one death, we need to align our business environments with the reality of the substance in question,” he wrote.

Some social media platforms and technology giants are starting to warm up to cannabis, and Baca suggests others, such as Facebook, could soon follow.

“We see other tech platforms — including Apple’s App Store, Uber and Google — become more 4/20 friendly, we will see the Metas of the world start to bend to the overwhelming percentage of the American adult population that believes cannabis should be legal — and therefore reasonably engaged with by Zuck and his ilk,” Baca wrote.

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I'm a Denver-based business writer with expertise in commercial and residential real estate as well as general business news.

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