The cannabis market has come a long way from the days of people selling it illegally on street corners. Today, cannabis is sold in a wide variety of thriving, legal products in stores throughout the nation. In California, it’s completely legal to possess up to one ounce of cannabis for personal use, whether it’s for medicinal or recreational enjoyment. That’s opened up a big demand for those who want to reap the benefits of this powerful plant. Furthermore, the market is growing like, well, you know. Here’s the latest in cannabis market news:
Sales Continue Rising
TechCrunch reported in December 2020 that the increased popularity of e-commerce and digital payments supported cannabis as the fastest-growing industry in the nation. It’s expected that the legal cannabis industry is expected to be worth $24.5 billion by the end of 2021. By 2024, it could skyrocket to $40 billion.
Industry Offers More Americans Work
Along with rapid growth in sales, the industry now requires employing more people than ever before. A whooping 321,000 full-time (or equivalent) jobs in America are in the cannabis industry. Moreover, economists expect it to grow 250% by 2028.
These jobs include everything from harvesting in the fields to selling in stores to working behind the scenes as cannabis-focused attorneys or financial advisors. This is especially noteworthy during the economic troubles and unemployment concerns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Further Cannabis Market Segmentation
As the cannabis industry becomes more sophisticated and refined with greater legalization, the market has become more segmented. Now, producers are categorized by:
- Weed Market: flower/buds or concentrates
- Application: medical, recreational, or industrial hemp
- Geographical: North America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific
This segmentation becomes more important as the market grows.
Increased Support for Legalization
At the end of 2020, a Gallup Poll found a record number of Americans support legal cannabis. Of U.S. adults polled, 68% backed measures for legalization. That’s compared to just 15% in 1972, 34% in 2000, and 50% in 2012.
As a result, ballot measures for legalization in states throughout the nation have been successful. During the last election, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota authorized the legal use of recreational cannabis. On July 1, 2021, Virginia legalized simple possession and home cultivation for adults.
More Demand for New Products
Today’s cannabis market isn’t just about the raw flower. Now, dispensaries must carry a wide range of concentrate products to keep up with the market demand.
Cannabis-infused candies, chocolates, beverages, creams, chewing gum, and even lip balm have become trendy. Therefore, entrepreneurs have become increasingly creative when launching new products, and consumers are willing to try new ways to ingest cannabis in easy, discreet ways.
Talks Continue About Federal Decriminalization
Anyone in the legal cannabis industry knows how important federal decriminalization is for future growth, and activist work continues on this front. In particular, recent efforts have focused on protecting banks that support legal cannabis businesses from federal penalties, as well as standards for labeling and testing.
Even while consumer demand continues to soar, federal prohibition keeps the cannabis market in legal limbo. As conversations regarding reform of federal policy advance, it is expected that cannabis products and sales will continue to grow and thrive.