The medical cannabis market in the United States, even with all of its restrictions, continues to be a fertile area not only for dispensaries, but pharma companies developing cannabis-derived drugs; and proponents say further growth can be generated by educating physicians about medical cannabis.
The medical cannabis market is well rooted and growing like mad, at least in North America. According to David Jagiesky in a July column for The Motley Fool, while the entire European cannabis market in 2019 totaled $260 million, sales in Canada during the first year recreational pot was made legal amounted to $677 million. In the United States, where medical cannabis is legal in 33 states, 2019 sales in Colorado alone were $779 million and analysts believe that retail cannabis sales, both medical and recreational, might reach $15 billion in 2020 and grow to $37 billion by 2024.
According to Marijuana Business Daily’s Marijuana Business Factbook for 2020, the industry generated an estimated $11 billion-$13 billion in 2019, propelled by robust growth in mature recreational markets such as Colorado and Washington state and rapid expansion in medical markets such as Florida and Oklahoma.
Although local dispensary sales have boomed as medical use of cannabis increased for COVID-related anxiety, as well as recreational use, the Factbook’s authors note that use might go down after the $600 a week additional unemployment benefits ran out at the end of July. “While cannabis businesses have fared exceptionally well so far, it’s still very much an open question as to how they’ll fare if no – or limited – additional financial stimulus is provided to the tens of millions of unemployed Americans,” these experts say.
Meanwhile, efforts to legalize recreational use have been stalled by pandemic-related difficulties with legislative meetings in Connecticut, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and other places.
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