U.S. Legal Cannabis Sales Predicted to Grow 14% in 2023

Though growth has slowed from its pandemic high, BDSA believes new adult-use markets will boost sales through 2027.
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LOUISVILLE, Colo. Global legal cannabis spending grew 4.8 percent to $32 billion in 2022 and has a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.2 percent from 2022 to 2027, according to BDSA's updated five-year global legal cannabis market forecast.  

Despite economic uncertainty and rising inflation, BDSA expects legal U.S. cannabis sales to grow 14 percent by the end of 2023, resulting in a market size of $59.6 billion by 2027. 

"Legal cannabis spending slowed significantly in 2022 due to rapid price declines across all markets," said Roy Bingham, co-founder and CEO of BDSA. "Despite this, our updated forecast predicts strong growth in the U.S. driven by developing markets, particularly the adult-use markets of Missouri, New Jersey and New York." 

While legal cannabis sales saw rapid growth during the height of the pandemic, 2022 marked the first overall spending contractions in many mature markets throughout the United States, with California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon suffering a combined spending decline of 16.5 percent. Though BDSA expects to see a return to growth in 2024, U.S. markets are expected to grow slower during the forecast period. 

However, new and emerging markets are expected to ramp up in the coming years. New Jersey and Montana, which launched adult-use sales in 2022, saw approximately 140 percent growth last year, while Missouri grew by 84 percent in its second full year of medical-only sales. Expanded CBD opportunities and medical marijuana pilots for convenience stores could also help boost sales.

By 2027, adult-use sales are forecasted to contribute 78 percent of the total global legal cannabis spend, up from 64 percent in 2022 and bolstered by the projected opening of several new markets, including Maryland and Oklahoma in 2024 and Florida and Ohio in 2025. 

Globally, cannabis markets beyond the U.S. and Canada are forecast to grow at a CAGR of 40 percent to $9.5 billion in 2027, up from $1.8 billion in 2022. BDSA also forecasts the Canadian market will see 12 percent overall growth this year, becoming a $5.7 billion market by 2027 at a CAGR of 6.3 percent.

Headquartered in Louisville, the BDSA provides a holistic understanding of the cannabis market by generating insights from point-of-sale data, wholesale data, consumer research and market forecasts.

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