Author: T.L. Stanley
At this point in the cannabis timeline, it’s simpler to count the number of U.S. states that haven’t legalized the plant—it’s 14, for the record—than to tally those that allow medical sales, recreational use or both.
And with that broad reach came a record-shattering green rush over the past two years, spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic as dispensaries were declared essential businesses. These brands quickly invested in ecommerce and delivery tools and were flooded by stressed out, homebound consumers looking to stock up on THC-laced products.
In 2020, that meant sales to the tune of $19.5 billion, per New Frontier Data. Tallies for 2021 are hovering around $25 billion, another milestone.
Going into 2022, the growth shows no sign of stopping, even without federal legalization. Research firm BDSA estimates the U.S. will see $30 billion in legal sales for 2022, with Brightfield Group expecting the market to hit $50 billion by 2026.
While the legal cannabis industry still has an abundance of obstacles due to federal policy—which limits everything from banking availability to multistate advertising—it’s poised for tremendous growth in 2022, thanks in part to expanding state-by-state legalization, adoption among older demographics and the growth of product lines like THC-infused beverages.
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