By Aaron Bry
Cannabis users and investors are constantly wondering what the future will hold for marijuana. Countries all around the world have legalized cannabis to some extent, but marijuana’s future remains uncertain. What will be the next way to consume cannabis? Will the U.S. legalize cannabis at the federal level? If so, when?
Faith Popcorn, a futurist known for her accurate track record of predicting trends, and Julian Cohen, the innovation chief at Canopy Growth Corp (NASDAQ:CGC), will speak on the main stage of South by Southwest (SXSW) about the future of cannabis.
SXSW is an innovative festival/conference hybrid featuring live music, films, panels and speakers. A number of the panels at this year’s event will focus on the cannabis and psychedelic space, including “The Cannabis Futurists, 5 Predictions for 2050.”
Cohen and Popcorn joined Benzinga’s Cannabis Insider on Wednesday to preview their SXSW panel. Here are some of the highlights of their fascinating conversation.
One reason people use cannabis is to help improve their mood. Some users report feeling less anxiety or depression while using THC. Because of this, companies are innovating cannabis strains that have only certain desired effects, for example, a strain that makes you sleep, or a strain that keeps you focused.
“It’s really about picking areas of focus,” Cohen said. “There is pain, sleep and anxiety that are the main focuses. We’re doing research on sensuality, we’re doing some work in women’s health…are there things we can do for muscle recovery?”
This research and innovation make for a much better marketplace for consumers. Customers are able to pick and choose which products they want and believe will match their needs. Someone who uses cannabis for pain relief may not want the same cannabis someone else is using for anxiety.
Another topic discussed on the show was the different use cases and products coming in the cannabis industry. Popcorn and Cohen shared their thoughts on the various types of use cases and products we could see in the future, including diffusing cannabis into the air we breathe.
“Stress being the number-one killer up there with heart disease, the idea that you can actually let down, I eventually think it (marijuana) will be pumped into rooms,” Popcorn said. “It could lead to fewer heart attacks, cancer. I’m seeing that as a future path.”