A new report says the total (legal) North American cannabis market could be worth US$47.3 billion by 2024.
By the middle of this year, 11 US states and Washington DC had legalised recreational and medicinal cannabis, while medical cannabis-only states numbered 33. North of its border, Canada has legalised both adult use (October 2018) and medicinal.
Even among the U.S. states yet to legalise medicinal use per se, 14 allow cannabidiol (CBD) in special circumstances for treating or managing certain conditions.
The report from Prohibition Partners predicts both medicinal and recreational cannabis will be legal right across the region by 2024 and makes its assumptions on that premise.
Some other interesting statistics and predictions from the report:
- Estimated number of cannabis users, 2019: 60.5 million (including those using illicitly)
- Estimated number of medical cannabis patients, 2019: 4.2 million
- Estimated medical cannabis market value, 2024: USD $25.2 billion
- Estimated recreational cannabis market value, 2024: USD $22.1 billion
- The North American market will be dominated by the US this year, which will account for ~85% of total sales
- Medicinal will dominate this year, making up around 60% of total estimated sales value (~US$10.6b).
- Change between 2019 and 2024 (total market): +177%
In terms of pricing, the report notes the cost of cannabis was stable in the USA and Canada last year, but there was quite a difference between countries. In 2018, cannabis cost around US$11.40 a gram in the USA compared with US$8 per gram in Canada according to dispensary sales data.
While Prohibition Partners paints a rosy picture generally for the industry, it notes:
“Although the US is currently the most profitable cannabis industry in the world, the lack of legislative clarity at the federal level is disrupting the industry.”
The US may be the world’s largest cannabis market at this point in time, but it still hasn’t legalised medicinal/recreational use at the federal level (although hemp was legalised with the 2018 Farm Bill).
The comprehensive 134-page North American Cannabis Report, which outlines the commercial opportunities, regulatory framework and political environment across the region, is free to download (registration required) and can be accessed here.
Trivia – the first US state to legalise medical cannabis was California back in 1996.