$10 Billion: North Americans Marijuana Spending Up 33% In 2017

Research group forecasts retail cannabis sales will jump 33% over 2016’s totals.

Marijuana Spending
Photo by Matthew Henry via Burst

Consumers in the United States and Canada will spend $10 billion on cannabis in 2017, according to a new study released on Wednesday. That is a 33 percent jump from last year’s retail data.

Arcview Market Research, authors of the report, forecast that by 2021 the legal market will reach $24.5 billion, a 28 percent compound annual growth rate. The report notes that despite continued federal prohibition, North American consumers continue to rapidly transition their cannabis consumption out of the illicit market and into state-sanctioned retail stores.

“Aside from cryptocurrency, there is simply no other industry changing as rapidly or as unevenly as the cannabis sector,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of The Arcview Group. “That makes capturing the data, predicting consumer behavior, and forecasting political developments both extraordinarily difficult and complicated, and one of the most vital tools for investors, entrepreneurs, and regulators trying to make sense of it all.”

Among other findings, the report revealed:

  • California’s medical market is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined, according to BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge point-of-sale tracking service, which added California to its databanks over the summer.
  • Nevada retailers were allowed to open sales to all adults earlier than expected, and generated more than $27 million the first month of adult-use sales, according to the Nevada Department of Taxation.
  • International markets saw major advances in 2017, including the launch of a medical cannabis program for Germany’s population of 82 million people.
  • Despite a pullback by the stocks of US-based publicly traded cannabis-related companies, investment continued to pour into the cannabis business, including the C$101 million IPO of Canadian licensed producer MedReleaf, the largest ever cannabis-related IPO.

“Our data shows positive indicators across the board for the legal cannabis industry, in North America and around the globe,” said Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics. “The passage of the 2016 ballot initiatives and continued maturation of the existing Adult-Use markets are the primary drivers of the growth this year.  That’s nothing compared to what we can expect in 2018 and beyond from Nevada’s tourism, and California and Canada planning to launch Adult-Use sales in 2018.”

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