California will not have retail outlets for legal marijuana sales until next year, but it is already ranks No. 1 nationally in market share.
According to cannabis market research firm the Arcview Group, the Golden State accounts for more than a quarter of all legal weed sales in North America (the data includes all of U.S. and Canada).
According to the report, California accounted for 27 percent of the 2016 legal market. The two states that first allowed selling legal recreational cannabis in 2013 finished second and third: Colorado at 20 percent and Washington at 11 percent.
Canada, which is included in the firm’s data for the first time, accounted for 13 percent of the overall sales figures. The U.S. was responsible or 87 percent of the overall market.
Arcview estimates that North American consumers spent $6.7 billion on legal cannabis products in 2016, up 34 percent from $5 billion in 2015. The research firm offers a bold forecast for the next four years:
The growth continues a robust pattern that Arcview estimates will lead to a $22.6-billion market in 2021 at a 27% compound annual growth rate.
Of course, all of the legal cannabis sales in California are in the medical marijuana program, since recreational retail is still being hammered out. All legal sales in the state require the customer/patient to have a medical card. Despite that extra hurdle, business is booming — and is expected to skyrocket in 2018.
Also, the Canadian market, which is rumored to become legal for recreational adult use in 2018, is expected to grow exponentially as well.
The report also suggests that states that have moved early into the recreational market enjoy a “first-mover advantage”:
While Oregon, Washington and Colorado are relatively small states in terms of total population, an existing tourism market and their first-mover status in the adult use market will help them maintain their leadership in terms of market size and investment opportunities.
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