The U.S. cannabis industry will increase fivefold and reach $41 billion by 2025, according to projections from market analysts at Nielsen.
The data company has crunched the numbers and estimated that total sales of all legal cannabis reached $8 billion in 2018. That figure includes hemp-derived CBD, which muddies the water somewhat, but Nielsen sees marijuana and hemp as part of one large movement spreading across the U.S.
It expects the industry to grow by more than 500% by 2025, reaching total sales of $41 billion as more and more states legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. That will encompass $35 billion in marijuana sales and $6 billion in hemp-derived CBD product sales.
Marijuana is fully legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska. Yesterday Gov. Andrew Cuomo made New York the 15th state to decriminalize cannabis, following in the footsteps of Hawaii, which took the plunge earlier this month. Cuomo’s ultimate goal is to legalize adult-use cannabis and plough tax revenue into fixing New York City’s creaking subway system.
New York and Hawaii are among 13 states to legalize medicinal marijuana and decriminalize adult-use marijuana. A further nine states have medical-only markets, meaning cannabis is now fully illegal in just 14 states.
Hemp-derived CBD products are already available nationwide following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. “As legal restrictions are loosened, the process of bringing a hemp-based CBD product to market, including the leveraging of mainstream distribution channels, could soon mirror that of other consumer packaged goods products,” said Nielsen.
It expects to see more cosmetics, pet products, and foods and beverages infused with hemp-based CBD going forward.
Nielsen believes that we will see increasing liberalization of marijuana laws while it is excited by the potential of Michigan and Illinois, which will open for business in 2020.
It found evidence of 166 marijuana brands on the market in 2014, and that has risen to 2,650 by 2018. The market is becoming increasingly crowded and Nielsen warned that pioneers creating new and interesting ways to ingest cannabis will be rewarded.
Marijuana remains illegal at a federal level, but White House hopeful Kamala Harris has launched a bill to see it decriminalized across the country.