Two out of three ain’t bad, readers. Leafly News got it right 66 percent of the time in December 2022 when we made 51 predictions about weed in 2023.
We scored 34 accurate prognostications, nine misses (sorry New Hampshire legalization), and eight maybes.
What will 2024 hold for the wide world of weed?
Leafly senior editor David Downs and Great Moments in Weed History podcast host David Bienenstock burn down the list of likely things to happen. The podcast will be out later in December. But here’s our full predictions list.
2024 weed politics
Will Congress legalize cannabis in 2024?
We’d bet no. Congress must crawl before it can walk, and it couldn’t even pass a weed banking bill this year. We expect more executive orders and policy changes like President Biden’s weed pardons.
For example, we foresee marijuana moving to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act in time for the election. It seems like the administration has that in their pocket for young Democrat voters.
“It will be the most profound change in years,” said veteran weed author/podcaster David Bienenstock. “Write to your elected officials.”
What about hemp rules?
We foresee some cosmetic attempts to rein in the hemp CBD market but I don’t see it translating to real-world results in terms of ending the delta-8 wild west. The FDA will continue warning CBD sellers, and will propose guardrails on CBD formulations.
“Cannabis [as opposed to hemp] as we have understood it for literal millennia is the gold standard for how to access these compounds,” said Bienestock. “Access should be a human right.”
What states will and won’t legalize weed next year?
Oklahoma, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire will talk about but won’t legalize adult-use cannabis.
How to order weed delivery online with Leafly
Florida will legalize adult-use in 2024, and it’ll drive a purple wave in Florida that’ll help keep President Biden in office. It’s a bold prediction, but we like to live dangerously. Otherwise, what’s the point?
We’ll see more city, county, and state-level expungement efforts. We’ll see more new legalization states try to earmark licenses for drug war victims.
2024 cannabis consumer experiences
2024 will see hundreds of new dispensaries open up across the country and new and newly maturing states drive the retail wave. We’ll see more delivery options in more places, and more pickup.
Expect more weed lounges
Weed consumers will be able to go to a dozen more lounges in 2024, whether it’s Las Vegas, West Hollywood, or the tribal lands of Buffalo, NY.
“We need a place to smoke weed,” said Bienenstock. “It’s going to help these communities that are more forward-thinking about cannabis to be rewarded for that.”
What are the next hype strains?
In terms of cannabis cultivars, we expect purple candy-gas strains to stay the center of the bell curve of the market. The Leafly Strain of the Year Permanent Marker wave will build. We’ll see lots of quality Z work, and more Superboof and Trop Cookies projects. As a counter-point to sweets, we’re anticipating a sour wave and a savory surge.
In 2024, we’re going to start The Ugly Weed movement for weed that tastes great but does not look so perfect. Ditto for the Under 20% THC movement, and Weird Terps movement.
We think live rosin will keep gaining marketshare in 2024.
We expect the seeds market to get even bigger, but also tougher for startup entrants.
We expect 2024 to be a banger year for weed events! April 20th lands on a Saturday and the scenes in San Francisco and New York will be unrivaled.
New York itself will be much more fun in 2024—with a slew of stores opening, better pot, and world-class experiences.
Legal weed farmer’s market pops up near New York’s Times Square
2024 in weed science and health
We’re going to see deeper research into flavorants, esters, and other non-terpenes that drive smell and effects.
More data on the efficacy of CBD will come in.
More potency and purity studies of the hemp market will reveal the need for better oversight.
The vape market will engage in some much-needed self-regulation by better-scrutinizing vape additives.
THC potency inflation battles will continue with fresh lawsuits and regulations.
So there’s a tight 30 predictions for 2024, Leafly Nation. Go out there and smoke the weed you want to see in the world. As I told Bien on the podcast: ‘I’m rooting for the plant. And I’m not worried about it.’