Legal U.S. cannabis sales could top $33 billion this year

Legal sales of recreational cannabis in the United States are anticipated to reach $33 billion by the end of this year.

This is based on a new study by Marijuana Business Daily a Colorado-headquartered business news outlet for experts who specialize in the U.S. adult-use and medical cannabis market. 

The latest estimates represent a 32 percent increase from the $25 billion that was earned through the U.S. legal cannabis market in 2021, at which point the market pulled in $25 billion.

Furthermore, the MJBiz Daily group predicts that annual sales will surpass $52 billion by 2026. The rise in cannabis sales comes as more states begin to embrace medical and recreational cannabis.

“While federal legalization flounders in Washington, D.C., the American cannabis industry’s economic impact could be near $100 billion by the end of 2022 and nearly $158 billion by 2026,” said MJBiz Factbook’s editor, Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier.

“This means that for every $1 consumers and patients spend at adult-use stores and dispensaries, an additional $1.80 will be injected into the economy, much of it on a local level.”

Currently, the U.S. cannabis industry accounts for approximately 520,000 jobs, a figure that is anticipated to top 800,000 by the year 2026.

The outlook for legal cannabis in the U.S.

As of April 2022, over three-quarters (77 percent) of the U.S. population lives in a state that has legalized cannabis to some extent. 

Currently, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized cannabis for medical purposes, whereas 18 states and D.C. have legalized cannabis for adult-use purposes.

What’s more, the remaining non-legal states share at least one of their borders with a state that has enacted some form of legalization. 

Plus, with the U.S. House of Representatives passing the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, H.R. 3617, on April 1 to federally legalize the plant, it looks as though cannabis reform is on the horizon.

On the other hand, the legislation which passed with a vote of 220-204 has stumbled in the Senate and is unlikely to be adopted into law at present.

Marijuana Policy Project report highlights increasing revenue trend

Collectively, states with legal recreational cannabis sales recorded more than $3.7 billion in revenue for 2021. This is based on a recent report from the Marijuana Policy Project.

As per the report’s findings, which were published on April 6, adult-use cannabis sales have surged 34 percent since 2020. 

The trend has been consistent since 2014, at which point the first two legal cannabis states, Colorado and Washington, chose to put an end to prohibition.

So far, 18 U.S. states have legalized recreational cannabis sales. However, MPP’s report is based on the 11 states that had legalized adult-use cannabis in 2021.

It should be noted that the total amount of legal cannabis revenue, $3,715,994,252, is non-inclusive of medical cannabis sales revenue.