The Cannabis Industry In 2032
By Matthew O'Brien
Breaking down what the cannabis industry might look like a decade from now…
Accurately predicting the future of cannabis is incredibly difficult to do.
In an industry where the only constant is change, the further you zoom out, the less clear it becomes what exactly the future has in store for the cannabis industry.
Nonetheless, in today’s edition of The Green Paper I will be doing just that – painting a picture of what the cannabis industry could look like a decade from now.
Cannabis In The United States
Cannabis was finally made legal on a federal level in the United States, courtesy of president elect Kim Kardashian signing an executive order in 2028.
Kim became politically active in 2020 when she helped free Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old great-grandmother serving a life sentence.
Using her understanding of social media Kim launched a campaign to become president in 2028 (which I think will happen).
Cannabis became a cornerstone of Kim’s campaign to win the white house, and with over 80% of Americans supporting her desire to legalize cannabis, it looked inevitable from the outset that Kim would win the most prized position in the U.S.
By now, the legal cannabis industry employs well over 2,000,000 people in the United States alone, with total cannabis sales in the United States now surpassing $100 billion USD annually.
Cannabis In Canada
The cannabis industry in Canada has experienced many highs, and lows, however, following the collapse of many of the largest Canadian cannabis producers some 8 years earlier in 2024 the industry is well on the road to recovery.
The lack of cannabis stores in Canada is now a distant memory in the minds of most Canadians, and although Canada continues to produce too much cannabis, many of the problems that once plagued the industry have now been resolved.
Nonetheless, the CEO’s of almost every Canadian cannabis industry continues to defend the government’s position to not allow U.S companies to ship cannabis products into Canada, however, it’s widely known this restriction won’t last forever.
Cannabis In Europe
The legal cannabis industry is finally in full swing in Europe, courtesy of Germany providing adults with access to legal cannabis products 7 years ago in 2025.
In hindsight this was the true turning point for cannabis in Europe.
With the German government now generating billions of dollars in new taxation revenue from cannabis each year, it hasn’t taken much convincing for other European nations to follow Germany’s lead.
Spain followed in Germany’s footsteps when they legalized cannabis for adult use purposes in 2026, followed shortly afterwards by many other European nations.
Cannabis In Asia
Cannabis remains a taboo topic in many parts of Asia, however, cannabis cosmetics continued to gain ground across Asia.
Additionally, Asia continues to produce a very large percentage of the world’s hemp, however, hemp farmers are feeling the pinch of cultured cannabinoid companies removing the reliance the Western world once had on Asia for low cost CBD.
Access to medical cannabis has become a major talking point in Asia as the arsenal of evidence indicating the benefits of medical cannabis continues to grow.
The promise of cultured cannabinoids (producing cannabinoids in fermentation tanks) has finally come to pass, and the cannabis industry is no longer reliant on cultivating cannabis plants to produce cannabinoids.
Why has this happened? Well, they say the very best businesses have one of three things – you either make something better, faster or cheaper for consumers, and cultured cannabinoids subsequently ticked all three of these boxes.
Cultured cannabinoids not only reduced the cost of producing cannabinoids by over 90%, they also reduced the time it takes to produce cannabinoids, while simultaneously making it possible to access all 100+ known cannabinoids.
Craft cannabis producers continue to produce cannabis flower for the consumers whose preferred method of consuming cannabis is to smoke dried flower, however, cultured cannabinoids are added to edibles, beverages, & skin care products etc.
The cannabis industry was once defined by what companies could do with THC & CBD, it’s now defined by what companies can do with 100+ cannabinoids.
While there are consumers who continue to pay a premium to access “plant produced cannabinoids”, an overwhelming majority of consumers have voted with their dollars that cultured cannabinoids are here to stay.
Courtesy of this new approach to produce cannabinoids, many of the largest consumer packaged goods companies in the world have now entered the industry, without ever having to cultivate cannabis plants.
Companies such as Cellibre & Ginkgo Bioworks are hailed in high regard for having brought this positive change to bear, and many consumers begin to refer to themselves as cannabinoid consumers vs cannabis consumers.
Consuming cannabinoids remains much less stigmatized vs consuming cannabis, even though most young people know that CBD, which is now available in almost every grocery store has an almost identical molecular composition to THC.
Brands Rule The World
Gone are the days of cannabis companies differentiating themselves based on the cannabinoid concentration of the products they produce ie. a product has high THC.
The ability to produce high THC products is now as commoditized as producing bottled water thanks to brands having the ability to add any amount of cultured cannabinoids to their products to achieve any possible cannabinoid concentration.
For the companies that had the foresight to foresee this change coming, they continue to reap the rewards of the investments they made to ensure consumers care about the brands they built.
Interstate commerce was permitted in 2028, courtesy of Kim’s executive order to legalize cannabis which has allowed brands to seamlessly expand across the entire United States, and the West coast vs East coast rivalry is as intense as ever.
Cookies remains the most valuable cannabis brand in the world, however, with Fortune 500 companies all seeking to enter the industry – it remains to be seen if these legacy brands can continue to command such high brand loyalty.
A Data Driven Industry
Whereas once cannabis companies relied on the instincts of executives to make the right decisions, such times are firmly in the past.
Today, every cannabis company that is serious about succeeding in this industry has come to appreciate the ability to leverage data to make informed decisions.
With the introduction of cultured cannabinoids and the ability to add any combination of cannabinoids to products, consumers have also come to rely on data driven prediction engines which pair them with the best cannabis products available.
With this, we are slowly seeing the removal of the terms Indica & Sativa from cannabis retail stores, however, many consumers continue to rely on these terms to decide which cannabis products they should purchase.
Today, it remains unclear when exactly the industry will fully transition away from using these terms that are seemingly ingrained in the cannabis industry