playing jenga

With a new year comes new developments in the cannabis industry, which undoubtedly means new problems to solve and old ones we still have to deal with. But what are the main challenges we should be looking out for in 2021?

In 2020, we saw the cannabis industry change rapidly with the onset of COVID-19. Ecommerce skyrocketed in popularity, delivery became more widely available, and cannabis laws loosened in a number of states. All of this produced a number of challenges for cannabis retailers in 2020 including staying compliant with the law, keeping up with the rapid changes, and staying ahead of the competition among other things. 

For 2021, while many of the previous challenges that plagued the cannabis industry in 2020 will persist, there will also be new things you’ll want to look out for in the cannabis industry.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the three main challenges in the cannabis industry to watch out for in 2021 and how to face those challenges head-on. 

Rapid changes 

One of the most pressing challenges for the cannabis industry, and a challenge that cannabis retailers are likely to continue bearing for years to come, are the rapid changes the cannabis industry is constantly facing. 

In 2021 specifically, we are likely to see a number of changes happening and continuing including outside investment, continued growth, and legal changes especially in regard to what could happen with the new administration. 

Investing in the legal cannabis industry can in some ways be seen as a gamble, because there’s no telling whether a new piece of legislation will help or hurt the industry. But, with a new administration in office in the U.S., we can expect to see outside investment from big companies outside of the industry. 

Large companies in the tobacco, pharmaceutical, and alcohol industries have been increasing their investment in the cannabis industry, and as smaller companies in the cannabis industry begin to consolidate under these larger ones we can expect to see some big changes. This could lead to a lot of volatility in the industry, which could spur or thwart investment. 

With this, the continued growth of the industry, an increasing number of states legalizing cannabis, and a new administration in office, we can expect the cannabis industry to be a roller-coaster of a ride in 2021. 

Legal complications 

These rapid changes are very closely tied to legal changes in the industry. In fact, much of the changes in the industry will rely on there being more and more legalization across the country. In 2021, there are a number of challenges cannabis retailers will face legally. 

The first of these challenges is banking. As cannabis continues to be illegal at the federal level, banking restrictions continue to plague the cannabis industry, forcing many to deal with cash. Having that much cash on hand can be dangerous, and can hinder expansion. 

Besides this, other legal blockades make it difficult for cannabis companies and those looking to start them to get business loans. This forces many to rely on angel investors or their own capital, which really puts a limit on who can open and expand their business. 

Besides this, laws changing constantly from state to state makes it hard to stay compliant in the industry. 


This has been an issue with cannabis since before it was even legalized. There is a certain stigma surrounding cannabis that makes many who are uneducated on the topic think of it as bad, unhealthy, and something that “lazy people” do. 

Unfortunately, this stigma can cost retailers a huge amount of business. Because of this, in 2021 it is important that you educate not only your customers, but your entire target audience about the truth of cannabis. Shoot down stigmas, highlight benefits, and show them that cannabis isn’t just something for the “lazy stoner.”

How to face these challenges with springbig 

While these challenges aren’t anything to shake a stick at, they are solvable. You can do your homework to stay up-to-date on legal issues, try your hardest to stay ahead of changes, and educate your customers. But that’s a lot of work, so you may as well let springbig help you face these challenges head-on and with ease.

360 solutions

With springbig’s 360 solutions, you’ll have access to a complete suite of compliance solutions that will help you stay compliant in an industry where laws can change by the day. That means you’ll spend less time dealing with legal issues and more time growing your business. 


With Budtender, our most recent acquisition and leading customer experience platform in the industry, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the rapidly growing competition and improve your customer experience. 

Budertender does this by providing you access to customizable customer surveys that give you insight into what areas of your business are working, and what needs to be improved. With real-time feedback, organized and easy-to-analyze data, improving the customer experience has never been easier. 

Text message marketing 

Like usual, text message marketing continues to be one of the most powerful marketing tools in the cannabis industry. It’s a powerful way to stay in contact with customers despite the virus, as well as marketing to them and encourage them to come in. 

Whether you’re pushing new products, just staying in touch, or sending our discounts to spur sales, text message marketing is there for you to help you stay on top in this crazy industry.

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