According to new data, US cannabis sales are estimated to reach $10 billion this year, $22 billion by 2022. These projections could be important metrics for the marijuana market. In particular, they seem to indicate that the rapidly-growing legal weed industry is likely to continue skyrocketing for the foreseeable future.
New Cannabis Industry Data
The newest figures come from the 2018 Marijuana Business Factbook, which was released on Wednesday. The data used in the report looks at retail patterns in both medical and recreational marijuana. In particular, it analyzes past sales numbers in order to project where the legal cannabis market is likely to go in the future.
And according to these new data, that future continues to look bright. According to the factbook, retail sales of all forms of legal marijuana are expected to finish between $8 billion and $10 billion this year. That’s a big jump from last year. More specifically, 2018 marijuana sales are supposed to show a 50 percent increase over last year’s totals.
That upward trend is projected to continue for years to come. Next year, all legal marijuana sales are projected to total between $10.5 billion and $12.8 billion. Retail sales are on pace to approach the $15 billion mark in 2020. The legal cannabis industry will climb as high as $22 billion by 2022.
Key Factors Driving Growth
The report also identified a number of key factors driving this explosive growth. Not surprisingly, most of it has to do with legal changes.
Most immediately, changes in California and a handful of other states are making a big impact this year. In particular, California’s recreational market—which officially went online at the beginning of this year—is making a huge splash.
The report said that California’s recreational market should generate around $500 million this year. It will continue growing in the future as the state’s legal frameworks become better established and more streamlined.
Similarly, Nevada’s recreational market is showing a lot of growth. Analysts expect the state to become an increasingly important player on the national legal marijuana scene. Additionally, changes are likely to come in places like Massachusetts, where recreational sales are about to launch.
Changing medical marijuana markets are also an important factor. In particular, states like Florida, Pennsylvania, and Maryland have recently expanded their medical marijuana programs. As these and other markets become more accessible, retail numbers are expected to climb.
Final Hit: US Cannabis Sales Estimated To Reach $10 Billion This Year, $22 Billion By 2022
This year’s report comes in the middle of political uncertainty. Throughout Trump’s time as president, there has been a lot of confusion regarding how his administration will approach cannabis.
In particular, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a big wildcard. Sessions is a longstanding and outspoken opponent of marijuana. For example, he is infamous for stating that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
Even worse, he once said that members of the KKK “were okay until I learned they smoked pot.”
As Attorney General, he has repeatedly spoken out against states where weed is legal. At the beginning of the year, he rescinded the Cole Memo, an important Obama-era policy directing federal law enforcement to take a hands-off approach to dealing with weed-legal states.
So far, however, it appears that the Trump administration hasn’t taken sustained action either way. Nor has it made any concrete policy changes. Nonetheless, confusion and uncertainty persist for many players in the legal weed industry. Despite all this, all projections point to continued growth for the industry as a whole.