Consumer spending on legal cannabis in North America is outpacing previous estimates, according to a report released this week by Arcview Market Research. The report forecasts that retail cannabis sales will grow 33 percent from 2016 to nearly $10 billion this year.
By 2021, the legal market is expected to reach $24.5 billion. Arcview also revealed that the medical market in California is already as big as the total markets in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon combined. When California begins selling recreational marijuana beginning Jan. 1, that number will skyrocket.
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Arcview crunched the numbers provided by BDS Analytics’ GreenEdge point-of-sale tracking service. Tom Adams, Editor-in-Chief at Arcview Market Research and Principal Analyst at BDS Analytics explained, “Our data shows positive indicators across the board for the legal cannabis industry, in North America and around the globe. … 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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- 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.
“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.”