Explosive Growth Forecast for the Global Recreational Cannabis Market
New analysis suggests a phenomenal growth trajectory for the global recreational cannabis market, anticipating a nearly twofold increase in legal adult-use cannabis sales, reaching nearly $50 billion by 2027.
The global recreational marijuana market is expected to experience remarkable expansion over the next four years, according to a recently released report by UK-based cannabis data, media and technology company Prohibition Partners. Legal adult-use cannabis sales are expected to peak at nearly $50 billion annually by 2027, nearly doubling the current $24,9 billion. This report attributes this meteoric growth to global cannabis reforms and the emergence of new recreational markets in Europe.
In the report's introduction, Prohibition Partners highlights that North America remains the undisputed leader in legal cannabis, with significant growth at the state level, promising regulatory reforms, and an isolated U.S. position on cannabis. international scene. Canada, while maintaining a strong global presence, faces domestic challenges. In contrast, Europe is shaping up to be a fragmented and heavily regulated market, with notable progress in adult-use legalization, but also lingering legal ambiguities surrounding CBD.
The report, publié last week predicted a dramatic rise in global recreational cannabis sales, reaching an estimated $49,7 billion by 2027, nearly double the current figure of $24,9 billion. This growth will be mainly fueled by ongoing political reforms in the United States and Europe.
North America is projected to continue to dominate the market global cannabis sales intended for adults. Canada, having legalized cannabis in 2018, currently has nearly 3 retail stores, generating overall sales approaching CAD 000 billion (approximately $6 billion), 4,5% of which comes from recreational cannabis.
In the United States, where cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, 24 states have legalized recreational use and 38 states have authorized medical use. Legal sales of cannabis in the United States has reached approximately 26 billion in 2022, and is expected to reach $33 billion by 2027. Including unregulated sales, the total U.S. cannabis market is estimated to be around $100 billion per year.
In Europe, although the legalization of cannabis for adults is still in the initial stages, significant progress is being observed. Malta was the first country to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, followed by Switzerland and the Netherlands which are undertaking similar initiatives. Germany is also preparing a legalization plan which could take effect as early as next year.
The global cannabis market is also expanding to other regions. Latin American and African countries are gradually becoming sources of supply, while Oceania remains a center of growth in imports and exports. Despite this, the Asian market is still largely untapped, with Thailand and Japan as notable exceptions.
Alex Khourdaji, principal analyst at Prohibition Partners, highlights that the global cannabis industry has made significant progress over the past 12 months, both in the adult-use and medical markets. It forecasts continued growth in 2024, supported by progressive global cannabis policy reforms and advances in commercialization.