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Whitney Economics Forecasts U.S. Legal Cannabis Sales to Top $31.4 Billion

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Whitney Economics, a global leader in cannabis and hemp business consulting, data, and economic research, announced the release of its 2024 U.S. legal cannabis sales forecast. The 2024 forecast for legal adult-use and medical sales will top $31.4 billion, an increase in overall sales of $2.6 billion from 2023. This represents a YoY growth rate of 9.14%.

Cannabis legal sales have been suppressed since the end of the pandemic, partly due to changes in consumer purchasing behavior, macro issues such as higher interest rates, declining cannabis business conditions and slower than normal regulatory implementations in new markets. Despite these headwinds, growth rates have remained positive in the U.S. overall, however, legal cannabis revenues declined in 10 states in 2023.

Beau Whitney, chief economist at Whitney Economics commented, “We are quite proud of our predictive analytics that resulted in last year’s forecast versus actuals being 98.3% accurate. Although there are uncertainties in the near-term outlook, demand for legal cannabis in the U.S. will remain strong throughout the decade, with growth coming from newer markets.” Growth in the states that have matured since rolling out their regulatory programs in the period of 2014 – 2019, have peaked, meaning future growth will come from the newer markets.

As part of the annual forecast refresh process, the firm examined industry trends, the effectiveness and pace of state ramps, the level of influence of the illicit market on a state, previous cannabis revenues in the state, as well as regulatory and legislative policy. It also looks for potential changes in the legal states or transitions from medical to adult-use regulatory structures. The annual refresh is a comprehensive process.

Based on the 2024 forecast, the U.S. legal cannabis sales forecast for future years are as follows:

  • 2024:     $31.4 billion (9.1% growth from 2023)
  • 2025:     $35.2 billion (12.1% growth from 2024)
  • 2030:     $67.2 billion
  • 2035:     $87.0 billion

The forecast does not incorporate any changes to the scheduling of cannabis by the federal government. These numbers also do not include demand for industrial hemp.

“Our firm provides these updated U.S. numbers as a service to help educate others on key issues in the cannabis industry. A more detailed, state by state summary can be obtained for a fee.” Whitney added. Whitney Economics also publishes analysis on adult-use, medical and industrial cannabis state and federal policy, employment, supply (both illicit and legal), global demand by country, business conditions, risk analysis and other insights.

About Whitney Economics

Portland, Oregon based Whitney Economics is a global leader in cannabis and hemp business consulting, data, and economic research, supporting hemp and cannabis operators, investors & regulators. Whitney Economics does not take a position on the legalization of cannabis, nor does it take positions on proposed legislation.



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