Sales for the cannabis industry in North America totaled $6.7 billion in 2016.
Cannabis sales grew by 30 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to a new report by Arcview Market Research. Arcview utilizes data from BDS Analytics. BDS has access to direct point-of-sales data from dispensaries across the United States. In addition to monitoring overall sales grwoth, BDS is also able to analyze trends in buying preferences for consumers. “One of the biggest stories was the alternative forms of ingestion,” ArcView Chief Executive Officer Troy Dayton told Forbes. “Concentrates and edibles are becoming customer favorites versus traditional smoking.”
The future looks bright for legal cannabis sales. By 2021, analysts project that North American sales will exceed $20 billion (the Arcview report includes Canadian sales). Canada is expected to finalize regulations for legal recreational cannabis sales later this year.
The numbers are staggering for economic analysts who note that the legal cannabis industry is expected to outpace the growth seen during dot-com boom.
“The only consumer industry categories I’ve seen reach $5 billion in annual spending and then post anything like 25% compound annual growth in the next five years are cable television (19%) in the 1990’s and the broadband internet (29%) in the 2000’s,” said Tom Adams, editor-in-chief of Arcview.
Despite the excitement, many in the cannabis industry are concerned with the road ahead. President-Elect Donald Trump has chosen Jeff Sessions to be serve as the United States Attorney General. Sessions has made his opposition to legal cannabis very clear. In April of last year, Sessions told a Senate committee that “good people do not smoke marijuana.”
Dayton is not letting the Sessions nomination damper his spirits.
“You will not find another multi-billion dollar market growing at a 25% compound annual growth rate anywhere in the world that is not already filled with multi-national companies and institutional investors,” said Dayton. “That’s part of what makes the cannabis industry such a unique opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs.”