While the usage and consumption of cannabis is illegal in most countries around the world, the cannabis market is said to be worth more than $20 billion.
The market is projected to jump to $90 billion by the end of 2026 with an annual growth of at least 28%.
This figure is going to rise in the coming years as it becomes more socially acceptable, since people are learning and educating themselves about the health benefits and its usage in other medical purposes therefore forcing their hand to push for lesser restrictions and law amendments towards its legalization.
Currently there have been several campaigns and movements to decriminalise it.
North America dominates this market and will continue to remain in the pole position over the coming years mostly due to a higher social acceptance and faster legalisation measures.
The legal Cannabis Market in the United States is expected to hit a whopping $35 billion before the end of 2025.
In the Asia-Pacific regions, China is expected to see rapid growth as there is scope and opportunity for its use in the industrial and medical sector.
The origin of cannabis traces back to Central Asia before its spreading across Europe, Africa and America. In the early 1600s colonies such as Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia had their farmers grow and cultivate cannabis plants. Back then its fiber was mostly used to produce cloth, paper and rope and the seeds used to cook food.
Pot was very much produced and consumed back in 500 BC but largely for its medical and industrial purposes, not to get high or recreational use. Researchers discovered burned cannabis seeds in several graves of shamans located in China and Siberia from around the 500 BC.
There is sufficient evidence available to prove that ancient cultures knew about cannabis plants and its properties and that they even cultivated several other varieties of it just to produce higher levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) a psychoactive property mainly to use in religious and healing ceremonies and practices.
During the 1800s cannabis was sold legally by doctors and pharmacies to treat stomach problems all across the United States and European nations. It was only in the 20th century that production, possession, usage and consumption of marijuana was restricted and criminalized.
The legalisation of cannabis in full capacity apart from medical purposes has its pros and cons. There might be an increase in drug addiction and accidents. But at the same time the illegal cannabis market is huge. People will consume it illegally or legally, hence why not just legalise it and reap the benefits as an economy.
“In 2019, U.S. consumers spent nearly $80 billion on legal and illegal cannabis products, a material figure at any point, but certainly during a time of economic crisis,” Giadha A. DeCarce, New Frontier Data Founder and CEO said.
The illicit cannabis market is valued at $66 billion as of 2019 in the United States alone. By legalising it across the United States there is potential for illicit market share to drop by at least 15%. The benefit of decriminalising would mean pumping in large amounts of revenue into the economy.
Several states in the US passed legalization measures in late 2020 which added $3.3 billion in the annual legal sales before 2025.