Skip links

Cannabis & Hemp Industry Challenges and Opportunities In 2021

When you are involved in an industry that’s constantly changing due to regulations, it’s vitally important to stay ahead of any potential challenges. However, it’s worth noting that this list of challenges facing the cannabis industry in 2021 contains some obstacles removed from the legalization and regulation aspects. This means that the cannabis industry is finally experiencing growth of business with less government intervention. Growth in the cannabis industry may have the same impact as a major change within an agricultural trend. Agricultural and entrepreneurial cannabis professionals should go over these points before 2021 begins.

Brief History of Cannabis Regulation in the United States

The legality of cannabis has been the determining factor for its growth as an industry within the United States. Until recent years, cannabis was outlawed in all of its forms. It was illegal to grow, buy, and sell the plant. However, many of the regulations behind the cannabis industry have changed. Many individual states have passed laws to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis plant substance, and many other states have passed laws to legalize its recreational use. The legalization movement of cannabis coincided with California passing Proposition 215 in 1996. To treat HIV patients, the first grassroots effort to legalize medical marijuana resulted in the prosperous growth of storefront collectives.

Challenges Facing the Cannabis Industry in 2021

Quality of Human Resources

Due to the forthcoming government legislation of the workforce, employers will need to respond to concerns about fair wages, equal opportunities, and other human resources problems that plague regulated businesses. Being accepted as a legal substance in the nation’s economy is dealing a blow to the industry, and it must comply to be part of society. Cannabis farmers and storefront owners (and every other level involved in the industry) must consider keeping quality employees satisfied with their jobs. Keeping employees satisfied, trained, and engaged are great ways that new businesses within the cannabis industry will stay ahead in 2021.

Limited Banking Opportunities

According to Insurance Journal, the biggest obstacles for businesses within the cannabis industry involve issues placed upon the industry by the media and federal regulators. Typical obstacles for businesses are made more difficult by regulations. An issue that might impact your cannabis business in 2021 is finding a banking opportunity that is allowed. For, businesses within the cannabis industry cannot work with federally insured banks, creating a barrier to smaller operations. Thus, operations with private funding continue dominating.

Public Housing Legality

If you’re in business to find more customers for your product, you need to be made aware of any issues causing your product to be withheld from potential buyers. The legality of using cannabis in public housing restricts many potential buyers from purchasing or using the substance. Its classification as a drug creates this barrier that will only be reduced through voting to keep cannabis regulations similar to other business regulations.

Stigma Among Medical Community

More doctors and care facilities are in favor of marijuana in the present day than ever before. However, an enormous part of the general public still believes that cannabis and medical marijuana should be illegal. This stigma in hospitals creates a major challenge that every business owner in this industry should recognize: hospitals do not receive federal funding if they promote cannabis.

The VA Doesn’t Give out Cannabis.

The same challenge mentioned above about hospitals applies to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans that visit the VA will not receive cannabis. Although, the potential customer would benefit from using this substance to assist with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Operating in Cash

Many businesses within the cannabis industry must continue to operate by using cash for purchases, and taking out loans from banks is an issue. Since the plant is scheduled as a drug by the federal government, many banks cannot accept money or create loans because it would be recognized as money laundering. This also creates a barrier when working with any bank that FDIC insures. In 2021, the likelihood of banks working with businesses within the marijuana industry is dependent upon federal regulations.

Gun Legislation

It might not seem like an important issue at first, but there’s a regulation within the firearms industry that is causing a uprisal among some cannabis activists. The issue exists on The Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4473). This is the mandatory form issued by the federal government to be signed by the purchaser when buying a firearm. It denies the sale if the purchaser has used marijuana illegally. Small challenges like this continue to shape society, creating a stigma that works against the industry.

Effective Digital Marketing Strategy

The effective use of digital channels to drive sales and build a customer base are two of the primary digital transformation challenges the cannabis industry faces. Many cannabis companies have difficulty being efficient, effective and measuring the impact of their marketing channels such as paid media, enterprise SEO, Local SEO, content strategy, or social media. In our opinion, one of the primary challenges these companies have is their digital experience, website design, and presentation of their brand. There are several marketing challenges that the industry will face in the year 2021. However, there is also room for growth.

Looking Forward to Growth in the Growing Industry

Keep this list of challenges in mind as you start the next year of growing your business. It’s a good idea to develop your own solutions to the items on this list of common challenges. If you can’t come up with your own solutions, you will need to look for professional assistance to feel confident enough to grow your business. The cannabis industry in the United States is growing like never before, but you might not be able to beat your competitors to the market if you don’t nip these common challenges in the bud. Stay connected to your industry to stay ahead of your competitors, and be vigilant to prepare for anything new that might upset how you do business in the new year.