Asia’s medical cannabis market could reach $5.8 billion by 2024 if it were legalized throughout the region, according to a new study from Prohibition Partners. Although, it’s unlikely that broad reforms will occur in more conservative nations such as Hong Kong and China, where legalization is improbable in the next five to 10 years.
“In our view, while Asian investors and startups continue to keep an eye on legal developments in Europe and North America, western-based cannabis companies are getting ready to explore new opportunities in the Asian market.” – Prohibition Partners’ Asian Medical Cannabis report, via the South China Morning Post
According to the report, China and Japan represent the region’s two largest-value medicinal cannabis markets – worth almost $4.4 billion and $800 million by 2024, respectively – accounting for an estimated 90 percent share of the market.
India has an estimated 38 million cannabis consumers, the most in Asia. Meanwhile, China accounts for nearly half of the world’s hemp supply with an industry estimated at $1.2 billion. Daragh Anglim, Managing Director at Prohibition Partners, said that China’s existing hemp industry provides the nation with a “huge opportunity to capitalize on this emerging market and help to shift opinions in favor of the therapeutic effects of different cannabinoids.”
A Reports and Data study published last week estimated the global hemp market could hit $13.03 billion by 2026 and the Asia-Pacific market would grow faster than anywhere else in the world – at a rate of 14.2 percent.