Forecast: 2022 Cannabis Sales to Reach $35 Billion

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“Though most legal cannabis markets saw sales soften in the second half of 2021, the global cannabis market is expected to see brisk growth in 2022, driven by strong sales in new and emerging markets in the U.S., steady growth in Canada and international markets lead by Mexico and Germany,” said Jessica Lukas, chief commercial officer at BDSA, in a March 2 news release.

BDSA, a market research firm focused on the legal cannabis market, kicked off March by releasing its latest forecast with cannabis sales data for the U.S., Canada and global markets. For 2022, global cannabis sales are projected to reach over $35 billion, a jump of roughly 22% compared to 2021 sales, which totaled $29 billion, according to BDSA’s most recent five-year rolling market forecast update. BDSA also predicts that by 2026, that number will surpass $61 billion, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 16%.

Additional key predictions from BDSA’s forecast include:

  • U.S. cannabis sales to reach $46 billion in 2026, a CAGR of approximately 14% from 2021.
  • California, which launched its adult-use market in 2018, will remain the largest contributor to overall U.S. sales growth, with the next top four contributors to growth will be New York, New Jersey, Florida and Michigan by 2026.
  • The majority of growth in Canada is expected to come from Ontario, growing over $1.3 billion by 2026. British Columbia will also be a leading contributor, adding $420 million to total sales by 2026.
  • International sales are expected to reach $9.5 billion in 2026, a CAGR of nearly 46% from 2021.

In 2021, new markets in the U.S. experienced some of the strongest growth, particularly in the Midwest. Illinois sales grew approximately 70% in 2021, totaling $1.8 billion, after the state legalized recreational cannabis in June 2019. Missouri’s medical-only market reached an unexpected high of $210 million, according to the release.

BDSA also expects emerging markets to be a major driver of sales through 2026 as the number of non-legal dwindles. The research firm says the pace of legalization could even increase as the latest wave of medical and adult-use bills are seeing positive bipartisan support at the state level.