BOULDER, Colorado — Legal cannabis sales grew 45.7 percent to $14.9 billion in 2019, led primarily by adult-use markets in Canada, California and Massachusetts, and supplemented by the unique approach to medical markets in Florida and Oklahoma, according to the “2020 Update to The State of Legal Cannabis Markets” (SOLCM) report released from Arcview Market Research (“Arcview Group”) and BDS Analytics.
This worldwide growth estimate is on par with the forecast in the original SOLCM, released in June 2019, and reflects the highest annual growth rate to date. This new data is in stark contrast with the mere 17 percent growth seen in 2018, due in large part to the shrinkage in California following the launch of adult-use sales on January 1, 2018. As a result of expected growth in key adult-use markets in the US and Canada, Arcview Group has updated their 2024 forecast to $42.7 billion in worldwide legal cannabis sales.
“The legal cannabis market grew by 46 percent in 2019 despite challenges caused by overregulation and overtaxing in the two biggest markets; California and Canada,” said Troy Dayton, founder and chief strategy officer of The Arcview Group. “That is a true testament to just how popular cannabis is among consumers and the ongoing impact of new markets coming online and maturing. The possibilities are boundless as political progress opens up more markets across the world, and struggling markets sort out their regulatory framework.”
“By loosening product restrictions and adopting a more free-market approach to licensing, Florida, for example, has started to realize the potential of medical cannabis sales in a populous state,” said Tom Adams, managing director and principal analyst at BDS Analytics.
“However, what we’re seeing in Oklahoma is a light regulatory touch and low tax rates, which allows citizens to access the health benefits of cannabis, out-perform the illicit market, and create a healthy tax revenue stream directly to the state’s government.”
Other key trends analyzed in the 2020 Update to The State of Legal Cannabis Markets include:
- Bustling activity in states such as Illinois, Maryland, and Oklahoma helped boost overall spending growth nationwide, which came out to $12.2 billion across the United States and an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7 percent.
- New licensed retailer openings in Ontario and other populous provinces have smoothed out supply chain kinks, creating a better product flow and ultimately improved sales in 2019. “Cannabis 2.0” also expanded product offerings beyond flower and oil in mid-December 2019, with limited impact on sales in 2019, but projected sales acceleration in 2020.
- Legal medical cannabis spending beyond the US and Canada more than doubled in 2019, from $367 million to $840 million, driven by Germany and Mexico’s markets.
The 55-plus page report is available free to all buyers of the $497 The State of Legal Cannabis Markets, 7th Edition, or as part of the Cannabis Intelligence Briefing Series subscription service from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics for $1,975.