2020 Medical Cannabis: What Does the New Year Hold?

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Columns | <b>Cannabis Voices</b>

We recently spoke with Josh Genderson, CEO of Holistic Industries, to get his insight on what we can anticipate for medical cannabis in 2020.

It’s the start of another exciting year for the cannabis industry as more states look to expand their medical programs or create new legislation for legal cannabis. We recently spoke with Josh Genderson, CEO of Holistic Industries, to get his insight on what we can anticipate for medical cannabis in 2020.

What do you foresee as the biggest prediction for medical cannabis in 2020?
Josh Genderson:
We will see the expansion of medical programs all around the country to include new conditions, which will lead to an uptick in medical patients in 2020. This increase will lead to greater patient access to medical cannabis, but in the short-term, we will see the industry experience supply and demand issues.

Do you think there will be an increase in doctor education related to cannabis as medical treatment? How about educating patients?
Today, there is a big gap in information between cannabis science, legislation, and the medical communities. Unfortunately, without legalization at a Federal level, many academic institutions are hesitant to add cannabis to their curriculum. Only about 13% of medical schools offer instructional material on the human endocannabinoid system and that’s simply not enough. We are seeing cannabis training programs for doctors and nurses pop up around the country from cannabis brands and trade groups, but we hope to see more in 2020. In addition to helping educate the medical community, my company puts a huge emphasis on patient education. We have a national director of outreach, Rabbi James Kahn, who travels around the country educating patients about medical cannabis.

What role to you think data will play in the cannabis industry in 2020?
Everyone inside and outside of the industry agrees that we are lacking critical data and information. We expect to see major players across the industry invest in research from clinical trials to DNA testing to help fill the data void that currently exists in cannabis. From a marketing standpoint, as the industry matures, we’ll have more consumer data to better understand customer preferences and buying behavior which will help us give our patients and customers the best experience possible.

Are there are other predictions you see coming into play in 2020?
As brands look to position themselves as innovators and long-term players in the cannabis space, I believe we’ll hear more from companies about their IP and R&D efforts. People are looking at new form factors, processes, and techniques that will differentiate them from other brands in the space. We will also see more mainstream businesses crossing over into cannabis via partnerships and acquisitions. As demand increases across the country and we see revenues starting to soar, I predict we’ll see the entrance of a Fortune 500 beverage or consumer packaged goods (CPG) company into the cannabis space in a big way this year.