According to Arcview Market Research and its research partner BDS Analytics, over the next 10 years, the legal cannabis industry will see much progress around the globe. Spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to hit $57 billion by 2027. The adult-use (recreational) market will cover 67% of the spending; medical marijuana will take up the remaining 33%.
The largest group of cannabis buyers will be in North America, going from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion a decade later. The largest growth spread, however, is predicted within the rest-of-world markets, from $52 million spent in 2017 to a projected $2.5 billion in 2027.
The worldwide adult recreational cannabis market remains hampered by the United Nations and its 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Arcview and BDS report believes nothing will be done to change the U.N. attitude until U.S. federal laws legalize marijuana — something Arcview’s CEO, Troy Dayton, believes will happen after the 2020 presidential election.
Still, the main difference between the U.S. and European cannabis markets is that in the U.S., recreational use will dominate sales. With a budget of $1.3 trillion in health care spending, European government-subsidized health care systems will bring the medical cannabis market to dominate Europe and become the largest medical marijuana market in the world.
Tom Adams, editor-in-chief at Arcview Market Research and principal analyst at BDS Analytics, points out that the big news in 2017 was Germany opening up cannabis for medical use in pharmacies. He celebrates a big and constant turnaround in the worldwide cannabis market ahead.
Highlights of the 65-page report “The Road Map to a $57 Billion Worldwide Market” include:
- The initial decision by many U.S. states and Canada to create medical-only cannabis regulations prompted many other countries to act similarly. But California’s and Canada’s willingness to legalize adult recreational use triggered a second wave of laws internationally to increase access to medical cannabis.
- South America has some of the most liberal medical cannabis programs. Led by Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay (the only country in the world in which adult recreational use is legal for all its citizens), the South American medical cannabis market may grow from $125 million in 2018 to $776 million in 2027.
- Germany is poised to be the leader of the European cannabis market, and Italy is expected to be second with $1.2 billion in sales by 2027. Overall, however, the European cannabis market is not expected to grow as stridently as its potential suggests.
- Australia’s legal cannabis market is forecast to grow from $52 million in 2018 to $1.2 billion in 2027, the 5th largest in the world.
- Israel has a small population and a long history of legal medical marijuana use. It continues as a leader with years in the development of cannabis pharmaceuticals.
- Canada is among the few countries where investors have already shown confidence in the future legality of the cannabis industry; they are betting with billions of dollars pouring into public equity investments.
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