The legal cannabis industry continues to thrive in North America. Legal marijuana sales in North America were roughly $6.7 billion in 2016 according to a report from Arcview Market Research. At the time the 2016 numbers were released, it was estimated that legal cannabis sales in North America would grow 25% in 2017, which is a significant rate of growth. I am happy to say that the actual sales figured surpassed expectations. Per Fortune:
Sales of legal cannabis in North America are growing even faster than experts predicted they would.
A new report from Arcview Market Research says retail cannabis sales will jump 33% over 2016’s totals to hit $10 billion this year. That’s a faster pace than the group had previously predicted. Researchers say next year’s numbers could increase by an even greater percentage.
The 2017 number is going to be dwarfed in 2018 for three very big reasons. First, Canada is set to legalize marijuana for adult use in 2018. Second, Massachusetts is expected to roll out legal adult-use sales in mid-2018. And Lastly, California is expected to start adult-use sales at the beginning of 2018. Massachusetts and California’s populations combined are more than double the amount of the populations for states that currently allow adult-use sales (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Nevada).
California has a massive tourist population, which will significantly add to sales to California residents. Massachusetts will be the only state on the entire East Coast to allow adult-use sales, so it will no doubt make a lot of sales to tourists too. Maine will eventually begin adult-use sales as well, but it is unclear when that will be after Maine’s Governor vetoed a bill that would have set up a regulated sales system. 2017 was a big year for cannabis, but 2018 is going to be even bigger!