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2024 Massachusetts Cannabis Predictions: Retail & Products Edition

Slowing the race to the bottom, buy local campaigns, hemp drinks, and experiences

We are reporters, not soothsayers. The journalism we produce might put us in a position to make some predictions and publish the occasional in-house editorial when such measures are called for, but in looking at the year in front of us, we thought it would be best to leave the informed guesswork to direct industry stakeholders.

The comments below about retail and products, as well as our roundups of predictions regarding business and industry and equity and regulation, come from a mix of sources who have appeared in Talking Joints Memo before and impressed us, as well as some new contacts who are among many we hope to hear more from in 2024. Without further ado, here is what they have to say … 

Andrew Bettencourt of Fine Fettle

“A race to the bottom that will happen too quickly; it’s happened in every state I’ve operated in, as that’s the natural pattern of most industries. If we band together instead of perpetuating that race, we might keep our careers alive and focus on the quality that the people of Massachusetts deserve, not mids being pumped out at scale.”

Megan Dobro of SafeTiva Labs

“I’m very worried about the price race to the bottom and the gray market takeover, so it’s going to be crucial that we remain united. I have a lot of optimism for the direction we’re going in because I’m seeing inspiring examples of advocacy for change and caring for one another.”

Payton Shubrick of 6 Brick’s

“It is my sincere hope that we see a concentrated effort to inform customers to buy local and support brands and retailers who are reinvesting back into the communities that host them in genuine ways, not performative.”

Jordan Mackenzie Whittaker of  The Weedaker Group

“We are hopeful that the creative collaborations between operators will continue in the new year.”

Commissioner Kimberly Roy of the Cannabis Control Commission

“Product labeling, remediation—these are things we need to look at.”*

Alex Mazin of Bud’s Goods & Provisions

“The pre-roll consumer market will continue to grow as pricing becomes more competitive. Infused pre-rolls will also continue to grow as a category. Quarters, half, and whole ounces will become more common in the marketplace.”

Tim McNamara of Suncrafted Cannabis

“Price compression will increase under competition, especially if there is a greater economic recession. … Live rosin/solventless will continue to grow in the concentrate market share for ingredients, dabs, and cartridges. … Another trend I hope will develop is that the laws begin to get straightened out, especially with the national hemp/THCa product trend which is nothing less than a crisis in my opinion.”

Jason Reposa of Good Feels

“2024 will be the year of hemp drinks. It will take a lot of the industry by surprise. It’s a secret, hidden in plain sight. Licensed operators should embrace this, but many won’t.”

Chris Faraone of Talking Joints Memo

“Similar to how beer or wine aficionados may prefer a smaller boutique shopping experience as opposed to a liquor barn, fans of particular cannabis categories are increasingly looking for more variety in their lane. As dispensaries look to distinguish themselves, expect more stores to focus on a niche like Native Sun has done with its infused drink selection or Blue River does with solventless science.”

Pete Gallagher of Insa

“We think edibles will eventually overtake combustible/inhalable methods, but it will take time. New cannabis consumers tend to gravitate toward ingestible products such as edibles. As cannabis becomes more socially acceptable and new consumers enter the category, we think edibles benefit.”

Howard Schacter of MariMed

“Edibles are the format of choice for the canna-curious, so as more consumers embrace cannabis, we should see continued growth in edible formats. At the same time, flower is still king in terms of consumption and should be for many more years to come.”

Ann Brum of Joint Venture & Co.

“The future holds more than just products; it’s about creating lasting experiences. I foresee cannabis cafes, wellness retreats, workshops, programs and similar spaces becoming commonplace, making the choice of cannabis as routine and enjoyable as picking a favorite herbal tea spot. It’s about making it a part of everyday life.”

*Denotes forward-looking comments from CCC member excerpted from Dec. 14 Cannabis Control Commission meeting