Global legal cannabis sales exceeded $21 billion in 2020, to reach $55.9 billion in 2026, says BDSA

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BDSA has released its 2020 legal cannabis sales data and forecast for future sales by region.

BDSA (Boulder, CO) has released its 2020 legal cannabis sales data and forecast for future sales by region. According to BDSA, global cannabis sales reached nearly $21.3 billion in 2020, which was a 48% increase over the $14.4 billion in sales in 2019. Globally, cannabis sales are expected to grow to $55.9 billion by 2026, a compound annual growth rate of more than 17%.

“The cannabis industry faced numerous challenges in the past few years, none so potentially disruptive as the coronavirus pandemic in 2020,” explained Micah Tapman, chief executive officer, BDSA, in a press release. “Our previous forecast was conservative based on the expected economic fallout from the pandemic, but the industry not only survived, it thrived and legal cannabis gained considerable ground, exceeding our expectations in several markets.”

In 2020, many of the mature markets in the U.S. saw accelerated growth. For example, Colorado grew by 26%, double its 13% growth in 2019, and Oregon grew 39%, compared to the 21% in 2019. Nation-wide, legal cannabis sales passed $17.5 billion in 2020, over 46% growth over 2019’s $12.1 billion. BDSA forecasts that U.S. sales will reach $41.3 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 15%.

New markets are key to future growth, says BDSA. For example, Illinois recently launched adult-use, which saw the greater dollar gain in 2020, rising by $784 million. Other U.S. markets that saw major expansion were California (+$586 million), Florida (+$473 million), Colorado (+$451 million) and Oklahoma (+$400 million). During the 2020 election, five new U.S. markets legalized medical or adult-use cannabis, namely Arizona, Mississippi, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota.

Canada has the largest national market which grew by 61% in 2020 to more than $2.6 billion. Sales were boosted by the late-2019 introduction of a host of new product options under the government’s new “Cannabis 2.0” rules, which authorized sales of derivative products such as edibles. Internationally, BDSA forecasts that sales will exceed $8.3 billion ins 2026, a CAGR of 40%. The bulk of this new legal spending will be driven by Mexico (104% CAGR) and Germany (36% CAGR). The U.K. (57% CAGR) and France (186% CAGR) will also contribute significantly, says BDSA.