According to Nielsen’s Total Consumer Report, legal U.S. cannabis sales could reach more than $40 billion by 2025. In 2018, the sector was estimated at $8 billion. The estimate includes both recreational and medical sales along with hemp-derived revenues.
“If recreational marijuana use were to become legal in all of the states in which it’s actively being considered today, we could very soon be living in a country where over one-third of U.S. adults reside in a legal recreational use state for marijuana consumption.” – Nielsen, “Brace for Impact: U.S. CPG Cannabis Sales to Rise by the Billions” report
In their “Brace for Impact” report, the analysis firm notes that cannabis flower sold in dispensaries fell from a 77 percent share in 2014 to a 48 percent share last year. A 2014 measure of legal cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington found that just 4 percent of cannabis sales in those states were vape pens, 9 percent were edibles, and 10 percent were “other formats.” In 2018, vape pen sales in Colorado, Washington, Nevada, and California comprised 19 percent of sales, edibles sales represented 11 percent of the markets, and “other formats” rose to 22 percent.
Nielsen also points out that in 2014 there were just 166 brands across the two legalized states; by 2018, that figure jumped to 2,600 brands across four states.
The agency also found that legalized cannabis would likely have an impact on other “sin” industries – with 41 percent of survey respondents who used cannabis saying they would try using cannabis to quit smoking tobacco, and 1 out of 5 saying they would spend less on store-bought beer due to their cannabis use. Another 35 percent said they would forgo over-the-counter pain relievers in favor of cannabis for back and neck pain.
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