Embroker Team January 30, 2023 7 min read

50+ Cannabis Industry Statistics

Two happy people in chat bubbles encouraged by cannabis industry statistics

With buying legal marijuana in the U.S. a near-impossible task just a few short years ago, it’s hard to believe these cannabis industry statistics. Buying cannabis products today can be as easy as a few clicks online or going to a local dispensary, depending on where you live. The result? A rapidly-growing cannabis industry.

There’s been a lot of excitement recently about the cannabis market  – and with good reason. The cannabis industry has exploded in the past five years, with new milestones every year. In fact, cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the U.S. Still don’t believe us? These cannabis industry statistics prove it.

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But the rapid rise of the cannabis market can also make it difficult to keep tabs on trends. So we’ve scoured online to find some of the latest stats and trends regarding the cannabis industry. Whether you’re starting a cannabis business, looking to expand an existing business, or just curious about the market, these cannabis industry statistics will help shed some light on the cannabis industry as a whole.

Cannabis Industry Statistics on Growth and Opportunity

  • The global cannabis market size was $20.47 billion in 2020. (Fortune Business Insights)
  • The global cannabis market is expected to increase from $28.266 billion in 2021 to $197.74 billion in 2028, at a compound annual growth rate of 32.04%. (Fortune Business Insights)
  • The cannabis industry could add nearly $100 billion to the American economy by the end of 2022 and around $155 billion by 2026. (MJBizDaily)
  • In 2020, North America had the largest share of legal cannabis sales worldwide, accounting for nearly the entire market. (Statista)
  • California is the single largest cannabis market in the world – larger even than all of Canada. (Statista)
  • North American cannabis companies raised more than $1.6 billion in January 2021 alone. (MJBizDaily)

Facts About Cannabis Users and Consumers

  • Approximately 52 million U.S. adults will consume cannabis at least once in 2022 in both legal and unregulated markets. (New Frontier Data – 2022 U.S. Cannabis Report)
  • The number of cannabis consumers in the U.S. is expected to grow by about 4% every year for the next eight years, reaching an estimated 71 million consumers by 2030. (New Frontier Data – 2022 U.S. Cannabis Report)
  • The United Nations estimated that 192 million people globally used cannabis in 2018, making it the most used substance worldwide. (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)
  • In 2021, nearly half of U.S. adults (49%) said they have tried marijuana, up from 45% in 2019. (Gallup)
  • Generation Z is the age demographic to keep an eye on – the U.S. market share of this age group has more than doubled in the last two years, rising from 8.3% in Q1 2020 to 15% in Q4 2021. (Headset)
  • When asked why they use cannabis, more people cited stress (21.9%) and mental health (21.5%) management than any other reason. (Eaze
  • 37% of consumers use cannabis with workout routines. (Eaze)
  • 55% of current consumers are dual-use consumers, meaning their cannabis use is both medical and recreational. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)
  • For many consumers, cannabis has become part of their regular routine – 47% of consumers use cannabis daily, and 67% consume it more than once a week. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)

Cannabis Industry Statistics on Sales

  • Retail cannabis sales in the U.S. are on pace to surpass $33 billion by the end of 2022 and more than $52 billion by the end of 2026. (MJBiz Factbook)
  • U.S. medical and recreational cannabis sales saw noticeable jumps in 2021 by approximately 34% and 43%, respectively, compared to 2020 sales. (MJBiz Factbook)
  • 46% of consumers get their cannabis products from a dispensary. (Leafly – Seeds of Change)
  • 20% of dispensary shoppers say that mood-specific labeling influences their purchase decision. (Cannabis Products)
  • Female consumers account for less than one-third of total U.S. cannabis sales. But their sales are growing faster than those of male consumers. (Headset)
  • Marijuana sales soared during the first year of the pandemic. Americans spent more than $18 billion on cannabis in 2020 – a 71% increase over 2019 sales. (Leafly)
  • In 2021, U.S. cannabis sales for 4/20 reached $175.6 million. (Statista)
  • After 4/20, occasions with the highest cannabis sales during 2021 were: Green Wednesday, Memorial Day weekend, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. (Eaze)
  • Almost half (45%) of current consumers purchase cannabis at least once per week. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)
  • Consumer spending, on average, is highest for flower ($98) and vapes ($92) and lowest for topicals ($57) and pre-rolls ($38). (New Frontier Data – 2022 U.S. Cannabis Report)

Cannabis Industry Statistics on Product Trends

  • Flower is still the most purchased cannabis product, but its market share is declining. Flower sales in the U.S. increased from $4.92 billion in 2020 to $5.49 billion in 2021, but its overall market share dropped. (MJBiz Daily
  • Vapes came in second for product revenue in 2021 in the U.S., with nearly $2.6 billion in retail sales and 28% year-over-year growth. (Headset)
  • Marijuana-infused beverages are gaining popularity, with a 45% jump in year-over-year growth in 2021. (Headset)
  • Pre-roll sales went from $1.02 billion in 2020 to $1.42 billion in 2021, a 38.9% increase. (Headset
  • 37% of U.S. consumers say that taste/flavor is the most important factor in deciding what cannabis products to buy, followed by high THC content (33%) and low price (27%). (Deloitte)
  • Edibles are expected to make up 15% of the cannabis market by 2025. (Cannabis Products)
  • Around half (51%) of all consumers  – and 61% of those under 35 – say they are interested in trying new cannabis products. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)

Facts About the Business of Cannabis 

  • As of 2020, the average square footage for cannabis production space was 36,300 sq ft, up from an average of 18,200 sq ft in 2016. (Trym)
  • Oklahoma has the most dispensaries of any state, with 2,264 as of June 2021. (MJBizDaily)
  • The application fee to obtain a cannabis business license in Oklahoma is one of the lowest in the country, costing only $2,500. (MJBizDaily)
  • The number of cannabis dispensaries across the U.S. reached 7,490 in 2020. (Mary Magazine)
  • California had the most cultivation licenses of any state in the U.S. in 2021, with 7,548. (Statista)
  • On average, it costs approximately $800,000 to start a cannabis dispensary. (American Cannabis Consulting)
  • Long-term legal retail cannabis profit margins are estimated to be around 15%, putting them on par with liquor stores. (Leafly)
  • Retail loyalty has increased among cannabis consumers; two-thirds of consumers who buy cannabis from a dispensary or delivery service say they always purchase from the same businesses. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)

Coworkers discuss cannabis industry statistics.

Employment in the Cannabis Industry

  • As of January 2022, the U.S. cannabis industry supported 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs, representing a 33% increase in just one year. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
  • In 2021, the cannabis industry created more than 280 new jobs per day. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
  • On average, cannabis job salaries increased by 4% during 2021. (CannabizTeam
  • California is the country’s leading cannabis employer, with $5.1 billion in sales supporting 83,607 jobs in 2021. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
  • 2021 saw someone hired for a cannabis-supported position around every two minutes of the workday. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
  • There are now more people employed in the U.S. cannabis industry than there are hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists, combined. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
  • There are more legal cannabis workers in the U.S. than dentists, paramedics, or electrical engineers. (Washington Post)
  • Back in 2019, it was estimated that under full federal legalization, the cannabis industry could create 1.63 million jobs in the U.S. by 2025, garnering $59.5 billion in wages. (New Frontier Data)
  • Approximately one in 20 Black Americans (around 5%) own business equity in any industry. But only one in 50 (2%) cannabis companies is owned or co-owned by Black Americans. (Leafly)

Cannabis Industry Statistics: Legalization of Cannabis in the U.S.

  • As of April 2022, 77% of the U.S. population live in a state with some form of legalized cannabis. (MJBiz Factbook)
  • 91% of Americans favor some type of marijuana legalization. 60% say it should be legal for medical and recreational use, while 31% think it should only be made legal for medical reasons. Just 8% of Americans don’t support any legalization. (Pew Research Center)
  • 77% of consumers think there should be public spaces (like cafes) where cannabis use is allowed. (New Frontier Data – Cannabis Consumers in America)
  • Every state without legalization shares at least one border with a state that has legalized cannabis. (MJBiz Factbook)
  • Texas accounts for more than one-third of the population without legal access to cannabis. (MJBiz Factbook)
  • The transition between medical and recreational markets has accelerated. California took 7,308 days between the legalization of medical marijuana to the first recreational sale. In 2020, South Dakota became the first state to have medical and recreational use approved at the same time. (MJBizDaily and MJBiz Factbook)
  • Eighteen more states are poised to legalize medical or recreational cannabis over the next decade. (New Frontier Data – 2022 U.S. Cannabis Report)
  • If all 18 potential states pass legalization measures, 96% of Americans will live in a state with some form of legal cannabis access. (New Frontier Data – 2022 U.S. Cannabis Report)

Based on these cannabis industry statistics, it’s safe to say the field isn’t likely to go up in smoke anytime soon. And it’s no wonder that so many entrepreneurs have set their sights on the cannabis industry.

If you’ve decided to take advantage of this growing industry and open a cannabis business, it’s a wise decision to purchase insurance for cannabis companies. While the industry’s success has soared, so have the risks for these businesses, as shown by these cannabis industry statistics.

Having insurance that’s tailored to meet the needs of your cannabis business can help ensure it reaps the opportunities of this thriving industry. 

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