Worldwide Cannabis Sales to Reach $42.7 Billion by 2024

Several U.S. states along with Canada’s new recreational market have pushed projected worldwide cannabis sales past expectations, a new report shows.

Legal cannabis sales grew by nearly 46 percent in 2019, a new cannabis market report shows. The sizable sales increase prompted analysts to update a 2024 global cannabis sales forecast.

“Worldwide legal cannabis spending is projected to reach $42.7 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.9% from 2018,” the report’s authors wrote.

The updated report entitled the “State of Legal Cannabis Markets” was released by ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics last month. In the report, analysts find the new data is in “stark contrast” with the 2018 growth rate of 17 percent.

Despite challenges caused by overregulation and high taxation in the two largest legal cannabis markets worldwide, California and Canada, 2019 sales soared. Analysts found that vibrant activity in states like Illinois, Maryland, and Oklahoma also helped boost overall spending growth nationwide.

Some big potential markets are beginning to catch on to the benefits of opening a more free-market approach, like Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, when it comes to licensing, according to 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,” Adams stated in a news release.

Future Canada Cannabis Sales

Canada, a global leader in cannabis, launched adult-use sales on Oct. 17, 2018, generating $129 million in sales over the full year, in addition to $453 million in medical marijuana spending.

According to the report, new licensed retailer openings in Ontario and other populous provinces have corrected supply shortages, ultimately leading to improved sales in 2019.

Sales projections for 2020 are rising due to “Cannabis 2.0” which expanded product offerings beyond flower and oil in Dec. 2019. Troy Dayton, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Arcview Group, said the projected growth from Canada and California 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,” Dayton said.

Future of Cannabis in the U.S.

While 2020 is poised to be a big year for cannabis, experts are already looking further into the future at states expected to show results in 2022.

“2022 is the year to watch as the pinnacle of growth, marked by the addition of major new U.S. adult-use markets, including New York and New Jersey,” the report’s authors wrote.

In addition, several smaller U.S. markets are expected to introduce medical cannabis programs by 2023 and 2024.

Other Key Report Findings

The new market research report from ArcView Market Research and BDS Analytics also had the following findings:

  • U.S. spending growth jumped in 2019 to $12.2 billion with an anticipated CAGR of 22.7%.
  • Legal medical cannabis spending outside the U.S. and Canada more than doubled in 2019, from $367 million to $840 million, largely due to markets in Germany and Mexico.

More on Cannabis

Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational cannabis and in 2020 several states are on track to join that list. Follow along as we cover the developments in cannabis policy across the U.S. as well as the world. Visit our cannabis news page.