The Brightfield Group recently released its “U.S. Cannabis Market Forecast” on Feb. 16, which presents data of comparisons from cannabis sales in 2022, and five-year sales projections between 2023 and 2028. According to the report, the cannabis industry is poised to reach more than $31.8 billion in annual sales by the end of this year, with a projected $50.7 billion by 2028.
The cannabis industry has recently seen a dip in sales in some markets, such as Arizona and Colorado. Brightfield Group insights manager Matt Zehner says that the outlook on cannabis sales is attributed to the expansion of cannabis into other markets. “2022 was a big year for cannabis, with seven state markets beginning sales (six adult-use, one medical), four of which only commenced in the latter half of the year,” Zehner told Forbes. “These markets are expected to have sizable growth over the course of the year, particularly those in populous states such as New Jersey and New York, both of which have had somewhat slow openings so far. New York only began sales in the last few days of 2022, so 2023 is effectively the market’s first year.”
This pace is expected to continue throughout this year, with states like Maryland gearing up to launch its adult-use program as well. Zehner also cited Maine and Michigan as markets that have seen steady growth.
On a regional scale, the Brightfield Group states that the eastern U.S. has the potential to be a multi-state hub for cannabis. Nine of the states on the East Coast have medical cannabis, and seven have legalized adult-use cannabis.
Adult-use cannabis sales from states on the West Coast, specifically Colorado and Washington, could grow to $11.5 billion by the end of 2023, and $15.3 billion by 2028. Not to mention that states that have more recently begun adult-use sales, such as Arizona and New Mexico, will also contribute to this projection. However, medical cannabis on the West Coast is expected to decrease in sales, from $2.3 billion in 2022 to $2 billion by 2028.
An explosion of growth is expected in the Midwest, with sales starting soon in Missouri. Although adult-use sales haven’t been approved in Ohio or Minnesota yet, these markets are expected to legalize within the next few years.
The Southern region of the U.S. will likely see the least amount of growth, with a focus mainly on medical cannabis sales.
Brightfield also examined the popularity of cannabis product categories and found that flower still leads the industry with $11.6 billion in sales in 2022, followed by vape products with $5.9 billion in sales by the end of last year, and finally infused beverages, which reached $290 million in 2022, and could potentially hit $640 million by 2028.
Other market reports are also finding how cannabis, as well as the expansion of psychedelic drugs in general, will continue to grow. According to a report from Brandessence Market Research that was published in January, the global market for psychedelic drugs (such as psilocybin, ketamine, and LSD) could reach $4.87 billion in 2022, and $11.82 by 2029.
The report states that the market has become fiercely competitive already, both with businesses eagerly trying to gain a foothold for their businesses, but also because of the rise in acceptance of psychedelics for certain medical conditions. “Additionally, the rising prevalence of depression and other mental disorders worldwide and increasing demand for treatment, are the key factors supplementing the growth of the psychedelic drugs market,” the report states. “Furthermore, changes in lifestyle and the desire for a higher and better quality of life [are] expected to contribute toward the market growth. And also increase in R&D initiatives in the sector of psychedelic medicine is projected to drive market expansion during the forecast period.”
Likewise, the hemp industry is on the rise as well, with a projection of up to $18.1 billion by 2027.