If there were ever any doubts that the cannabis industry could thrive during the pandemic—there were, believe it or not—let the following results show just how wrong the skeptics were and how high the category flew this year.
Americans spent nearly $18 billion on legal weed in 2020, a 67% jump from the previous year, according to research from Leafly. Buyers broke records during the initial lockdown-related green rush in March and again around popular holidays like 4/20 and Green Wednesday. In nine states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Florida and North Dakota, sales more than doubled year over year, Leafly reported.
Election 2020 logged a five-state sweep for weed legalization, where voters in even conservative strongholds overwhelmingly approved ballot measures for medical and recreational sales. At the same time, the movement for decriminalizing cannabis and other formerly verboten substances picked up steam.
The industry ends the year in the strongest position of its young life, with Greg Butler, chief commercial officer of Cresco Labs, likening it to “a roaring wave—it can’t be ignored anymore.”