Recent data from SkyQuest Technology estimates a nearly $180 billion boom in the cannabis market over the next decade, with the market value increasing from $28 billion now to $197.75 billion in 2028.
With more states passing legislation to increase commercial access to recreational marijuana products, the data, titled “Global Cannabis Market,” reports a 32% compound annual growth rate for 2021. This figure is expected to increase to 35% by the year 2028.
Although the market has long been dominated by the medical marijuana industry, increased access to recreational cannabis products has led to a striking increase in the sale of recreational marijuana, which has been linked to reduced stress and anxiety levels and increased creativity and endorphin levels.
The report is divided into sections based on product type, compound, and region. These break down further into subsections; product type is split into concentrates and flower, compound is split into CBD-dominant, THC-dominant, and balanced CBD and THC, etc.
According to the report, demand for cannabis products is at its highest in North America, where legalization has increased the need for cultivators and dispensaries. The report also cites the North American climate as a source of this demand; the land makes cultivation easier than in other regions, making it a preferred area for cultivation.
Additionally, the report provided details regarding the “established demographic” of North American consumers, stating that the region’s primary consumers are between the ages of 18-39, with 55% of them being Caucasian, 20% Latin, and 15% Black.
According to the report, while legalization has been monumental in the increased use, sale, and societal acceptance of cannabis products, the “cannabis lifestyle” is what has marked the product’s recent surge on the international market. The report describes this phenomenon as the normalization of medical and recreational cannabis use among “women, seniors, parents, and others.”
A Harris Poll from May suggests this phenomenon is more significant than analysts previously assumed. The poll reports that 68% of American adults are in support of adult use. Additionally, it estimates that 50% of millennials select vacation destinations based on whether or not they will have access to legal recreational marijuana products, with 43% having specifically chosen such destinations in the past.
Currently, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational adult use. Several more are expected to pass legalization bills later this year. This has led to a significant increase in cannabis travel, a new frontier for the tourism industry.
Several states have taken advantage of the collaboration between their tourism industries and the legalization of recreational marijuana. Cannabis tourism is a booming industry for those who specifically plan their travel to destinations where recreational adult use is legal. In areas that take advantage of cannabis tourism, dispensaries are reaping profits of up to three times as much per transaction as dispensaries which only serve locals.
In addition to the opportunities legalized cannabis opens up in the tourism industry, there are other industries which may benefit from increased legalization from state to state. Those who take part in cannabis tourism are not only visiting dispensaries at their destinations, but hotels, restaurants, and other attractions in those areas, as well. Cannabis tourism has promising benefits for local economies all over the US.
One example of this is the state of Colorado, where cannabis products have been legal and available for recreational adult use for nearly a decade. While the state maintains a healthy tourism industry for its many outdoor recreation opportunities, there are some local businesses which are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded them by the cannabis market. Some hotels have begun operating simultaneously as marijuana dispensaries, opening lounges for those who wish to participate in the recreational use of marijuana products while they visit a state where this practice has been legalized.
Similarly, the city of Modesto, California, has recently introduced its MoTown CannaPass initiative, a program which makes tourists aware of the many cannabis retailers, restaurants, and activities available to them while they visit. This is one example of a California city whose tourism industry has sought collaboration with local marijuana dispensaries.
Other Californian cities have introduced similar efforts. Palm Springs has increased opportunities for tourists to purchase and use recreational marijuana in tours, spas, and hotels. In Oakland, visitors can take a walking tour of the city where they learn about Oakland’s history with the marijuana industry. West Hollywood has quickly become a hotspot for cannabis tourism, where dispensaries are becoming immersive cultivation experiences similar to vineyards and wineries.
In other states, the collaboration between tourism and the cannabis industry has not been as seamless. Florida, where medical marijuana has been legal for years and the medical marijuana industry is the most prominent in the nation, has not yet been able to legalize cannabis products for recreational use. This is particularly difficult when the state’s tourism industry is taken into account. Florida’s long history as an international tourist destination makes the state a prime spot for a booming cannabis tourism industry, but until a legalization bill passes, it is unclear how the state’s tourism industry will be able to accomplish this.
In any case, cannabis advocates around the country can look forward to an increased number of opportunities to participate in recreational adult use of marijuana products. With the recent strides taken in the tourism industry to make cannabis products and cannabis experiences available to visitors, there will certainly be a boom in the cannabis tourism industry in the near future.
The “Global Cannabis Market” report is ultimately very optimistic about the future of the cannabis industry, calling the expanding industry a market with “increased competition and innovation.” The report summary concludes by suggesting that the cannabis industry “will become one of the most important industries in the world.”
Whether or not the report’s estimations are correct is yet to be seen, but as more and more states make strides towards legalization, the opportunities for local dispensaries and the US cannabis market alike are opening up like never before.