U.S. cannabis retail sales on-track to inflate 40 percent in 2020

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Fresh forecasts for retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the United States suggest that the combined markets could surpass $15 billion by the end of this year. 

The foresight into U.S. cannabis sales revenue is based on analyst predictions that were recently published in the 2020 edition of the Marijuana Business Factbook. If the projections are correct, sales figures will have soared 40 percent since 2019.

Moving further into the future, combined medical and recreational sales revenue could top near $37 billion by 2023 and $37 billion by 2024. These insights were revealed on June 29 at the MJBizConNEXT Direct event.

Sharp sales increases recorded for medical and recreational cannabis markets in the U.S.

A notable takeaway from the report relates to surging sales among a number of legal medical cannabis markets in the U.S. Two of the most valuable states in terms of medical cannabis sales are Florida and Oklahoma, both of which are expected to exceed the $1 billion mark next year.

Some of the most recently established medical cannabis markets, such as Florida, Maryland, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, have bulked up the U.S. market in spite of reduced revenue in states that have launched adult-use markets. Some examples include Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.

Revenue gains are also apparent in the adult-use sector, say analysts. Two of the longest-standing markets, Colorado and Washington, either climbed in value or remained fairly steady following a tedious period of decline; likely spurred on by movements from the illicit to the legal market. 

Interestingly, although extortionate tax rates were expected to stunt the growth of California’s recreational market, sales revenue amounted to $3 billion last year; making California a fierce competitor against Colorado and Washington. What’s more, two of the newest adult-use cannabis markets in the U.S., Illinois and Michigan, look set to yield $2 billion on an annual basis by 2024.

COVID-19 could prevent U.S. cannabis sales revenue projections from transpiring

In spite of the positive outlook for U.S. cannabis sales revenue, there’s no doubt that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has posed a challenge for the industry. This is particularly true in regards to supply issues and states that depend on out-of-state tourism to keep their legal cannabis markets afloat.

Nonetheless, with the trillion-dollar federal stimulus package granting unemployed workers an extra $600 weekly benefits through July, actively operating dispensaries have managed to continue attracting clientele during the pandemic.

A recent report published by MJBiz Daily revealed that the COVID-19’s impact on cannabis retail sales was dependent on the state, with eight markets being deemed “essential business” during the lockdown. On the other hand, if no further stimulus payments are distributed among the U.S. general public from August onwards, there’s a chance that cannabis sales revenue could stumble in the near future.