Cannabis Markets Continue Bullish Rise as Massive Gains in New Markets Drive Growth
Global cannabis sales for 2022 will reach just over $35 billion, a jump of approximately 22% over 2021 sales of $29 billion, according to BDSA’s most recent five-year rolling market forecast update. BDSA forecasts global cannabis sales will surpass $61 billion in 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16%.
“Though most legal cannabis markets saw sales soften in the second half of 2021, the global cannabis market is expected to see brisk growth in 2022, driven by strong sales in new and emerging markets in the U.S., steady growth in Canada and international markets lead by Mexico and Germany,” said Jessica Lukas, chief commercial officer at BDSA.
Looking back at 2021, new markets in the U.S. experienced some of the strongest growth, especially in the Midwest. Illinois sales grew approximately 70% in 2021, totaling $1.8 billion, while Missouri’s medical-only market reached an unexpected high of $210 million.
Emerging markets are also expected to be a major driver of sales through 2026, as the number of non-legal states is rapidly dwindling. The pace of legalization could even increase as the latest wave of medical and adult-use bills are seeing unprecedented bipartisan support at the state level.
Legal cannabis sales in the U.S. will surpass $28 billion in 2022, growth of approximately 20% over 2021’s $24 billion. BDSA forecasts U.S. sales to reach $46 billion in 2026, a CAGR of approximately 14% from 2021.
California, which launched its adult-use market in 2018, will remain the largest contributor to overall U.S. sales growth. Several other markets are expected to be major contributors to total U.S. legal sales by 2026, with the next top four contributors to growth being New York, New Jersey, Florida and Michigan.
Legal cannabis sales in Canada reached an estimated $3.8 billion in 2021 and are projected to climb to $4.7 billion in 2022 and nearly $6.3 billion by 2026, a CAGR of 11% from 2021. Ontario is expected to spearhead this growth, with this province growing over $1.3 billion by 2026. British Columbia will also be a leading contributor, adding $420 million to total sales by 2026.
Sales of legal cannabis products, including cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals, outside the U.S. and Canada were estimated at $1.4 billion in spending for 2021 and are forecast to grow to $2.2 billion in 2022. International sales are expected to reach $9.5 billion by 2026, a CAGR of approximately 46% from 2021. The bulk of that new spending will be driven by Germany and Mexico, though France and the U.K. will contribute significantly as well.
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