Legal Cannabis Sales Surpassed $21.3B In 2020, BDSA Study Shows

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting just about every type of business — especially retail — the legal weed sector saw a sales uptick throughout 2020.

According to analytics firm BDSA, total cannabis sales last year hovered $21.3 billion across the globe. 

“The cannabis industry faced numerous challenges in the past few years, none so potentially disruptive as the coronavirus pandemic in 2020,” BDSA Chief Executive Micah Tapman said. “Our previous forecast was conservative based on the expected economic fallout from the pandemic, but the industry not only survived, it thrived and legal cannabis gained considerable ground, exceeding our expectations in several markets.”

Important Takeaways

Global cannabis sales were up by 48% from $14.4 billion in 2019;
BDSA projects for global cannabis sales to reach $55.9 billion in 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 17%.

Some fully developed cannabis markets in the U.S. also experienced high growth last year – Colorado improved by 26%, compared to its rise of 13% in 2019, while Oregon advanced by 39%, compared to 21% in the prior year.   

Canadian cannabis market saw 61% growth, reaching more than $2.6 billion. This improvement could be attributed to the introduction of “Cannabis 2.0” products in the late 2019.

Younger markets also played their role — those launched in 2019 added $1.6 billion to the total figure.

Of the $1.6 billion, recreational cannabis sales accounted for $1.2 billion.

Highlights By Regions

Regulated cannabis sales in the U.S. were up by 46% on a yearly basis, reaching $17.5 billion. BDSA projects to hit $41.3 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 15%. Illinois experienced the biggest growth of $784 million, while other markets with notable progressions included California, Florida, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
Canadian legal cannabis sales accumulated $2.6 billion in 2020, and are projected to reach $6.4 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 16%.
Legal cannabis sales outside of the U.S. and Canada exceeded $1 billion. BDSA forecasts for international sales to surpass $8.3 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 40%, with major contributors being Mexico (104% CAGR), Germany (36% CAGR), the U.K. (57% CAGR), and France (186% CAGR). What’s more Mexico is projected to amass 32% of legal cannabis sales outside the U.S. and Canada in 2026.

Cannabidiol Report By Grand View Research

Separately, Grand View Research released its report on the global cannabidiol market projecting to hit $13.4 billion by 2028, a CAGR of 21.2%.

Based on this report, the increase in CBD demand could be attributed to raising “awareness about the health benefits of cannabidiol.”

CBD has been incorporated into a wide variety of products, including food, beverages, personal care, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.

CBD-infused products are projected to experience even higher demand, as governments give their authorizations and, as a result, boos the overall acceptance, the report continued. 

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