Cannabis Industry 2026
Cowen and Company, a prominent investment bank, recently released a report on the state of the cannabis industry and how it will grow in the future. The conclusion of their findings is that within the next ten years, the industry will swell to new heights, reaching an unprecedented $50 billion in sales by 2026.
Ten analysts from the bank looked at the short and long-term market potentials for legal recreation cannabis in the United States. They pointed to some variables at play to explain why they see the market growing as much as they project it to.
Perhaps the most striking presumption the report makes is that within the next ten years, marijuana will gain federal legal status. Many polls, like this one by Gallop, point to this assumption being a fair one. With over 50% support for marijuana legalization, Cowen and Co. claim that the law will follow popular opinion.
The analysts in the report noted: “Cannabis prohibition has been in place for 80-plus years, but the tides are clearly turning.” And if cannabis does become legal across the country, it seems fairly clear that growth in the industry will come on its heel.
California by itself, being the most populous state in the country, could see the nation’s current industry size of $6 billion rocketing all the way to $18 billion if recreational marijuana passes there in November. The analysts keep this in mind, as well as the other eight states voting on cannabis-related initiatives when projecting the industry’s growth.
Emergence of “Big Business” in Cannabis
As it stands, cannabis companies are by-and-large smaller startups due to the murky legality of the plant. If marijuana was to be legalized federally, as the report says will happen, then big businesses would cease to be so wary of getting involved. With the entrance of large, experienced companies into the industry, Cowen expects many would capitalize on new product opportunities.
Tobacco companies, for example, would see a “significant opportunity” in using vaporizer technology in conjunction with cannabis oils and tinctures. They’re already selling vapor products that relate to tobacco and nicotine, and adding marijuana into the mix would only see their list of potential wages grow.
In addition to their familiarity with vapor technology, these large companies are also well-versed in navigating the complicated legal and regulatory world of controlled substances. Adding cannabis into the mix will be little trouble for these businesses to incorporate into their product line.
Trouble For Alcohol
While pro-cannabis legislation looks promising for companies already involved in tobacco, the analysts at Cowen said that alcohol makers had better look out. The report cites the already decreasing number of adult men using alcohol and when coupled with the rise in cannabis use, concludes that greater marijuana sales spell fewer alcohol sales. One can expect alcohol companies to be among the most vocal opponents of marijuana legalization at all levels as a result.
The Final Hit
Cowen made some bold claims with this report, and the key takeaway is that the rise in the industry to a figure of $50 billion is all contingent on the plant’s status changing from Schedule 1 to federally legalized. Within ten years, though, that seems like a likely outcome. Polling the American people tells us that a greater and greater majority are pro-cannabis legalization, and if the law follows suit, we can expect a huge boom in the cannabis industry.