Cannabis and Energy

Part
01
of three
Part
01

Cannabis Trends

In the United States, future trends in the cannabis space continue to expand with new vapes, liquids and dry herb products and technologies.

Multi-use devices, greater temperature control, and fast heating with less waste are three top trends advancing in the future. Moreover,
other trends include the rise of pre-rolled joints. Rather than maintain the original cylindrical pen shape, these joints will be innovative designed to lower-dose delivery and be applied for specific uses.

I searched cannabis magazines, analysis sites, delivery system manufacturers and sellers, and other magazines. I noted the future of the higher-end Cannabis, their acclaimed devices, and categorized upcoming needs/trends below:

MULTI-USE DEVICES, FOR DRY HERB AND CONCENTRATE
Cutting-edge portable vaporizers have entered the cannabis space. These portable vaporizers feature water filtration designed to be used with the cannabis flower.

Some vaporizers can heat up to 200-500°F. Most come with a removable mouthpiece, a magnetic lid, and fresh air intakes. Others use Dynamic Conduction Technology and an all-glass air path which provides and even heating experience. New technology offers the ability to heat up the vaporizer to up to five temperature levels allowing for fresh and potent hit.

INTERCHANGEABLE CARTRIDGES
Also known as closed systems, pre-filled cartridges continue to grow in popularity and thus in sales. Almost 250 brands operate in Colorado, Oregon and Washington today and those numbers continue to increase.

PRE-ROLLED IS INCREASING FASTER THAN VAPING
The rise of the pre-rolled trend is due in part to convenience. Marijuana's traditional flower buds are too messy and require complicated preparation in order to be smoked. Pre-rolled edibles for example, are simple to eat and can be tapered out to avoid an overdose. The pre-rolled joints are simple, easy and traditional, just like smoking a cigarette.

DESIGNS AWAY FROM CYLINDRICAL PEN SHAPE
In the future, the cannabis market aims to see more proprietary delivery devices. The hope is that these devices will command higher price points and keep cannabis consumers "locked into their proprietary formats. Pods have become a fashionable commodity. They are shaped like a metallic USB drive. Instead of having to unscrew a cap and the chamber with liquid, users inhale to active the heat source.

HEATING TECHNOLOGY
With technological advances in heating technology, the cannabis industry wants to see more devices with variable temperature and less waste. Sophisticated vaporizers like the Firefly2 have sensors on each side of the bowl. The sensors indicate when the vaporizer is ready to heat up.

In addition, its uni-body design comes with a secure magnetic face plate that is easy to remove. The user can access the bowl and fill it with his/her favorite herb. This device also comes with a concentrate pad.

DOSAGE
Pre-dosed or self-contained vaporizers are more associated with medicinal reasons and provide low level effects. However, the more advanced vaporizing models offer higher levels of THC.

APPS
A recent published patent from Apple has brought out speculation that Apple may be entering the vaporization and vaping market. With the rise of the Firefly2, vaping apps were introduced. They can be customized, control the temperature and provide information.

SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS
The growth of trends and technologies are based on brand surges, affordability and the consumer's demand for variety. As the industry grows, it brings in newbies to the world of cannabis. The market growth is combined with the sales of medical and recreational marijuana.

Transdermal patches, for example, allow the user to enjoy the THC and other cannabinoids to slowly enter the bloodstream. These patches provide long-term relieve and are expected to grow as they enter the world of science.

In summation, trends in products and technological advances seem bright for the future in the United States. Consumer demand continues to grow for less expensive, easier and innovative ways to enjoy cannabis.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

Cannabis Improvement

The US cannabis market has grown in size and popularity, however products are still in need of improvement in certain areas. The cannabis market is fractured due to differing state laws and lacks an overarching presence. Therefore, mainstream branding and loyalty is lacking as well. Vaporizers and alternative, cannabis-based products are increasingly demanded.

There were no previously compiled reports or articles that gave any direct information regarding improvement areas in the cannabis market in the US. The areas of improvement were therefore triangulated through logical deduction from the information available. Research was focused on finding existing aspects that could be improved. These are detailed below.

Mainstream Branding and Omnichannel Presence

Due to various factors such as differing state regulations and gray law and regulation areas, there is a lack of an omnichannel brand presence throughout the US that may be improved with greater mainstream popularity and support nationwide.

Brand loyalty is lacking within the US cannabis market due to prohibition of interstate cannabis trade. In the future, once cannabis use is normalized nationwide and interstate trade is allowed, increased brand development will be necessary. Effective marketing will be needed to create a national, mainstream product that is able to stand out among competitors since currently differences between companies are practically non-existent.

Vaporizers

Vaping has become increasingly popular and is therefore in constant need of improvements to suit the growing cannabis market. Competitive prices and ease of use are two main factors pushing the vaporizer market. It should be noted that discretion is an important quality of vaporizers due to its ability to detach itself from stigmas of regular smoking. For these reasons, the development of affordable, discrete, and easy to use vaporizers and cannabis vaping products are a potential area of improvement. At the same time many consumers of cannabis still prefer and demand normal smoking as well.

Alternative Cannabis-based Products

Edibles and other cannabis-based products such as high-end edibles and beauty products have become increasingly popular. Consistent dosing and potency, combined with increased choice in active ingredients, have become a priority. Microdosing to allow function but to also feel the effects of the cannabis are increasingly popular within cannabis-based products. Products can be marketed as both luxurious or cheap and affordable, allowing versatility of product marketing and creation of cannabis derivatives.

Conclusion

Overall, the cannabis market within the US lacks an omnichannel presence and must therefore be improved through popularizing Cannabis with the general American demographic. Vaporizers need constant improvement due to consumer's desire for reasonable pricing, ease of use, and discreet design. Mainstream brand building is needed to increase general usage and loyalty to that brand's products. Alternative pot based products as well as products with qualities such as microdosing are increasing in demand and can be used to increase brand presence.
Part
03
of three
Part
03

Energy Products

To understand how consumer products influence industrial products in the energy sector, it is necessary to know about the trends in the consumer energy products, along with the trends in the industrial energy products. By comparing the similarities and difference between both the trends, one can understand the effect of consumer energy products on the industrial energy products.

METHODOLOGY

In order to draw out the difference which consumer products are bringing in the outlook of the industries involved in the energy sector, by influencing them, it was necessary to include the current trends in consumer energy products usage and application, and then similar trends were searched for industries too. Other than this, the similarities in the future outlook of both the sectors, in regard to the renewable energy, is also discussed. Finally, the differences related to the energy consumption, demands, and needs of both the sectors were highlighted. A deep dive into the findings is below.

TRENDS IN THE CONSUMER ENERGY PRODUCTS

1. There is a significant demand for energy monitoring systems in the homes that have installed solar panels. Companies like a Vivint Solar have developed a new product namely, "Sky", to help monitor and manage the energy consumption in the home.
2. There is an increased demand for the electricity monitoring devices or Smart Meters in homes and industries alike. With these products, that combines electronic sensors with algorithms, one can easily monitor when and which device is consuming how much electricity within the house or industry.
3. There is also a huge demand for smart lights, that can be controlled with smartphones. For ex., the Osram's multicolored smart bulb can be controlled with the Apple's Home app and Siri.
4. With the growing use of battery-based devices, a lot of companies are developing products for efficient energy consumption from the battery. There is also growing trend of developing flexible Li-ion batteries that could easily change shape with the shape of the device.

TRENDS IN THE INDUSTRIAL ENERGY PRODUCTS

1. Following the trend of home-based energy monitoring systems, Honeywell has developed a tool namely, the Industrial Load Management System (ILMS), for managing and optimizing electrical energy operations. The tool helps "industrial users protect electrical equipment and network from risks due to unscheduled outages, avoid peak tariffs/ overdrawing penalties and benefit from safe and reliable grid/ captive power."
2. Power theft is one of the most important problems faced by the industries in the energy sector. With the cellular smart metering technology, industries can now, like home-based consumers, easily check this problem by managing and monitoring energy consumption remotely, and thus streamlining power consumption. Sierra Wireless is one such company that offers both home-based, and industrial solutions to energy consumption and usage through its cellular smart metering technology.

HOW TRENDS IN CONSUMERS ENERGY UTILITY AFFECTS THE INDUSTRY

Demand Gap
The growing awareness among consumers to adopt energy efficient devices has negatively affected the energy supplier industry, because the demand for energy consumption is on the downfall, with the increased use of digital technology. With each passing day, the demand for energy among consumers is falling down. With this, the energy utilities face the dual challenge of closing this demand gap and providing value for consumers at the same time.
Managing and Controlling Energy Usage
With the growing awareness among the consumers to manage and control their energy usage, the industries and manufacturers are also following the similar trend by installing sensors within their machines and equipment that "indicate malfunctions, anticipate and prevent disturbances, or signal when major maintenance is needed."
Adopting Innovation
Power Utility Sector, along with other industries in the energy sector, being aware of the change in the consumer mindset and habits of energy consumption, needs to adopt a wide array of technologies like "battery storage, micro grids, analytics software, and intelligent substations," to rapidly win the trust and credibility of their consumers, and hence expand their consumer base. Old industry boundaries have no more relevance today.
Partnership Approach
With the new business model in front, utilities and other industries of the energy sector are partnering with energy-related service providers to leverage the broad market expertise of others, to have an established market presence and broader distribution channels, and to scale their capabilities.
A Push for Renewable Energy
According to 2018 Power and Utilities Industry Outlook, with the rise in the demand for renewable energy by the customer, along with the falling prices, and "proliferation of distributed energy resources," the power industry across the US has been experiencing the change of adopting the rising trend of developing a smart grid, with clean electricity generation capabilities.

DIFFERENCES IN THE ENERGY NEEDS OF INDUSTRY AND CONSUMERS

1. While industry consumes about one-third (33.3%) of all energy consumption in the US, "40% of all energy consumed in the US went to powering homes and commercial buildings," (Commercial building includes buildings like "offices, stores, sports arenas, schools, shopping malls, hotels, and hospitals.")
2. In 2015, For heating and lighting purposes, 42% natural gas and 42% electricity was consumed the US homes. On the other hand, in the US-based industries, 31% of total energy is used in Petroleum refinery, and 27% used in Chemical industry.
3. The heating and lighting devices in homes and commercial buildings are not energy efficient because they are employed for comfort and luxury. On the other hand, industry use energy efficient machines and techniques to cut the production costs and save more money. To reduce the cooling and heating costs, industries and houses can use insulating Window Films to control the exposure on machines, equipment, and inner premises of the building to sunlight.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, consumer products influence the industrial products in the energy sector by widening the demand gap through reduction in power consumption with new and efficient technology; by making energy sector industries to devise methods for managing and controlling energy usage; by making them adopt a wide array of technologies; by making them tread the path renewable energy. Despite all the inter-dependencies between the consumer and industrial sectors, there exist huge differences between them in terms of their energy consumption demands and needs.
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