Feb 7, 2023
56 Cannabis Industry Statistics to Know in 2023
Weed. Marijuana. Ganja. There are a lot of alternative terms for cannabis. But no matter what you call it, business is booming in the cannabis industry, and investment opportunities are plentiful. Medical marijuana use is currently legal in 37 U.S. states, with 21 of them also allowing adult use of recreational cannabis (NCSL, 2022). As more states legalize cannabis or expand existing regulations, more companies are sprouting up to meet growing customer demand, from growers to distributors to manufacturers of cannabis products. Investors are taking note too, with many people integrating marijuana stocks into their investment portfolios. The industry as a whole is predicted to grow at a rate of 15.3%, generating $47.5 billion annually by 2030 (Research and Markets, 2022). This round-up of cannabis industry statistics can help you gain a better understanding of where the cannabis market is now, where it’s going, and how investing in marijuana stocks might fit into your portfolio.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- Cannabis market statistics
- Cannabis user’s stats and demographics
- Cannabis stats by state/country
- Cannabis cultivation
- Legal cannabis sales statistics
- Cannabis’ economic impact
Cannabis market statistics
North America, and the U.S. in particular, dominates the global cannabis market share. As more adults shift their views on state and federal marijuana legalization, the cannabis industry is poised for ongoing growth. The once-illegal plant is now drawing interest from all kinds of investors thanks to changes in both legislation and cultural acceptance of legal cannabis. And the overall cannabis market is predicted to grow steadily through 2030 (Research and Markets, Grandview Research, 2022).
- The U.S. dominated North America’s legal cannabis market in 2021, with a market share of 87.1% (Grandview Research)
- At the end of 2022, the North American cannabis industry market size was $15.2 billion (Research and Markets)
- The U.S. market size is predicted to reach $32.9 billion by the end of 2023 (Statista)
- The U.S. will generate more cannabis revenue than any other country in 2023 (Statista)
- The market’s growth rate is predicted to be 15.3% through 2030 (Research and Markets)
- Revenue in the legal cannabis market is projected to hit $47.5 billion by 2030 (Grandview Research)
- 88% of adults in the U.S. believe cannabis should be legal (Pew Research Center)
- 53% of investors who don’t currently own marijuana stocks would consider investing with federal legalization (Magnify Money)
- Curaleaf is currently the largest cannabis company by market cap at $2.57 billion (CompaniesMarketCap.com)
- The cannabis extract segment has dominated the market since 2021, a trend expected to continue through 2030 (Allied Market Research)
Cannabis investor stats and demographics
Investors of all ages and genders are breaking into the cannabis market. Gen Z and Millennials make up the highest proportion of cannabis industry investors as well as cannabis product users. While fewer members of older generations invest in cannabis stocks, those who do tend to invest more money than younger generations. Additionally, most cannabis investors expect to hold their investments for one to six years.
- 43% of investors hold at least one cannabis-related stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) (Magnify Money)
- 54% of Millennial investors report investing in cannabis/marijuana stocks (Magnify Money)
- 47% of Gen X investors report investing in cannabis/marijuana stocks (Magnify Money)
- 62% of Gen Z investors report investing in cannabis/marijuana stocks (Magnify Money)
- Just 16% of Boomer investors report investing in cannabis stocks, but the size of their investments is typically larger than younger generations (Magnify Money)
- 49% of cannabis investors are men and 35% are women (Magnify Money)
- Marijuana investors say they expect to hold for the medium- to long-term: 48% for one to three years, 28% for four to six years, and 8% for 10+ years (Magnify Money)
- 65% of cannabis investors are also users of medical marijuana or recreational cannabis (Magnify Money)
- Gen Z women are the fastest-growing segment of legal cannabis consumers (Springbig)
- Gen Z and Millennials split their investments fairly evenly between recreational and medical marijuana (Magnify Money)
- Boomers are four times more likely, and Gen Xers are two times more likely, to invest in medical cannabis versus recreational cannabis (Magnify Money)
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Cannabis stats by state
The trend toward legal cannabis in America has continued over the past few years, with 37 states allowing recreational and/or medical marijuana use as of January 2023 (NCSL, 2022). Some states have a thriving cannabis market, while others are still in the process of opening their first dispensary locations. California has the largest market for cannabis in the U.S. by a wide margin. However, Illinois, Colorado, and Florida are gaining ground. When you’re considering investments in the cannabis industry, it’s helpful to be aware of current state regulations and expected changes as the status of legal cannabis continues to evolve across the nation.
- Recreational cannabis use is legal in 21 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam as of January 2023 (US News & World Report)
- Medical cannabis is legal in 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia as of January 2023 (NCSL)
- Connecticut began adult sales in January 2023, Maryland is slated to allow legal adult use of cannabis products on July 1, 2023, and dispensaries in Missouri could open as early as February 2023 (The Hill)
- Oklahoma will vote on legalization in March 2023, and Ohio is considering a bill to legalize recreational cannabis use (The Hill)
- Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota all rejected the legalization of recreational cannabis in the November 2022 election (The Hill)
- Idaho, Kansas, and Nebraska are the only states that do not allow cannabis use of any kind, including CBD and low-THC cannabis products (The Hill)
- California is by far the largest recreational cannabis market in the U.S., with well over $410 million in monthly sales (Marijuana Business Daily)
- Illinois and Colorado have both seen significant growth in recreational and medical sales in recent years (Marijuana Business Daily)
- California will have the nation’s highest market share, at 20%, by 2025 (Statista)
- Florida and Illinois are each predicted to reach an 8% market share by 2024 (Statista)
Legal cannabis is currently the sixth most valuable cash crop in America, ahead of staples like potatoes and rice (Leafly, 2022). While popularity may be a good sign for investors, it’s worth noting that the value of cannabis stocks fell in 2022 (Leafly, 2022). Analyzing trends in cultivation, demand, and the value of marijuana stocks may be helpful when developing an investment strategy that includes cannabis. Wider legalization and increased production could continue to spur increased sales while also driving prices down across the cannabis industry.
- As of late 2022, there are 13,297 active legal cannabis farms in the U.S. (Leafly)
- Legal cannabis is America’s sixth most valuable cash crop, at a $5 billion annual wholesale value (Leafly)
- The value of cannabis crops fell by $1 billion in 2022 as wider legalization lowered the price of marijuana (Leafly)
- California grows the most legal cannabis, with a wholesale value totaling $1 billion (Leafly)
- Legal cannabis production totaled about 2,834 metric tons of marijuana for recreational use in 2022 (Leafly)
- The estimated demand for recreational cannabis is 12,000-15,000 metric tons (Leafly)
Legal cannabis sales statistics
The legal cannabis industry saw sales spike during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. But sales are softening and some financing is starting to dry up as demand returns to pre-pandemic levels. And while revenue from recreational and medical marijuana is still in the billions of dollars, overall prices have taken a dip in the past year. Still, market predictions point to steady, long-term growth. Companies with high market caps include Canopy, Cronos Group, Tilray, Aurora Cannabis, and Sundial Growers Inc.
Medical marijuana sales
Medical cannabis sales are projected to grow as more states open dispensary locations and the federal government moves toward licensing cannabis research. And as medical marijuana gains popularity, Big Pharma may see a corresponding decline in market share.
- North America accounted for the largest global revenue share of medical marijuana in 2021, at 76.1% (Grandview Research)
- Sales of medical cannabis reached $11.9 billion by the end of 2022 (Statista)
- Sales of medical cannabis are predicted to reach $15.6 billion by 2026 (Marijuana Business Daily)
- Congress passed a medical marijuana research bill in late 2022. The Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act would allow research universities and private companies to acquire U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration licenses to grow and handle cannabis for scientific purposes (Marijuana Business Daily)
- The time between states legalizing medical cannabis and recreational cannabis is getting shorter (Marijuana Business Daily)
- Reports show that every time a state legalizes medical marijuana, Big Pharma sees significant market share drops. Consequently, some well-known drug makers are lobbying against legalization and/or developing their own cannabinoid pharmaceuticals (Leafly)
Recreational marijuana sales
Recreational cannabis use is on the rise across the U.S. More and more companies are meeting consumer demand with a variety of options beyond marijuana flower, giving investors a broader range of opportunities to put money into the cannabis market. Consumption has expanded into a wide range of cannabis products, including beverages, edibles, vape pens, skincare, and more. When you’re researching your investment options, you may wish to take note of companies on the cutting edge of developing recreational marijuana products.
- The U.S. is projected to have around 50 million cannabis users by 2025 (Statista)
- Recreational cannabis sales reached $21.1 billion in 2022 (Marijuana Business Daily)
- Legal recreational sales are projected to reach $25 billion by 2025 (Statista)
- Sales of cannabis-infused beverages, edibles, vape pens, and pre-rolls grew 5-12%, while flower sales declined 8%, in 2022. (Flowhub)
- In the U.S., Gen Z was the only age group to show marijuana sales growth in 2022 (Headset)
- Purchases for all legal age groups are returning to pre-pandemic levels after a rise in sales during 2020-2021 (Headset)
- Gen Z and Millennials report using recreational cannabis products instead of alcohol (Springbig)
- Year-over-year cannabis sales are declining in mature markets like California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado (Headset)
- Average retail cannabis prices fell about 20% from 2021 to 2022 (Flowhub)
Marijuana’s economic impact
In 2022, the total economic impact of the cannabis industry was nearly $100 billion (Marijuana Business Daily, 2022). That includes workers in cannabis-related jobs from growers and budtenders to legal consultants, marketers, and bookkeepers. Tax revenue from the industry is funding public health and infrastructure initiatives at the state level. Overall, the industry is expected to continue having a positive impact on the local and federal economy.
- In 2022, tax revenue from legal cannabis ranged from $18.9 million to $517 million per state, and over $11 billion nationwide (Urban Institute, Marijuana Policy Project)
- The legal cannabis industry supports more than 428,000 jobs nationwide (Flowhub)
- The total employment potential in a mature U.S. legal cannabis market is approximately 1.5 million to 1.75 million workers (Leafly)
- The total economic impact of the cannabis industry in 2022 was nearly $100 billion (Marijuana Business Daily)
Investing in the future of the cannabis industry
Ready to start investing in legal cannabis? Stash can help you make a plan today so you can work toward building wealth for tomorrow. Like any kind of investment, the cannabis industry can be risky. But with the right approach for your risk tolerance level and financial goals, you might make cannabis investments a part of your diverse portfolio.
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Disclosure: Investment advisory services offered by Stash Investments LLC, an SEC registered investment adviser. Investing involves risk and investments may lose value.
Stash does not endorse the use of illegal narcotics.
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