Cannabis legalization is sweeping over North America – there are 32 States that now allow cannabis for medical use, 16 States allow Cannabidiol (CBD), 10 States and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational cannabis use, and full legalization came to Canada in October 2018.

There are about 10,000 active licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S., according to Statista. This includes cultivation, extraction and manufacturing, retail, distribution and testing licenses.

The North America legal cannabis market reached $12 billion in 2018, growing by 30 percent on the year. The largest market was the United States, which totaled $10.4 billion. It was followed by Canada with $1.6 billion.


Legal cannabis market reached $9.2 billion in North America in 2017, according to a report from cannabis industry analysts Arcview Market Research, in partnership with BDS Analytics. That represents an unprecedented 33% increase over 2016.

The industry employed 121,000 people in 2017. If cannabis continues its growth trajectory, the number of workers in that field could reach 292,000 by 2021, according to BDS Analytics.


The legal cannabis industry accelerated at a remarkable pace in 2016. North American  consumers spent $6.7 billion on legal cannabis products, up 34% from 2015. The 34% compound annual growth rate was driven primarily by Colorado and Washington initiating adult-use sales.

California accounted for 27% of the 2016 legal market in North America, Colorado represented 20% and Washington represented 11%.

On 9 November, 2016, three new states approved cannabis medical using: Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota, while four others that already had medical cannabis laws, legalized recreational.


Analysts predicts the overall cannabis market for legal adult-use and medical sales in North America to reach $24.5 billion by 2021 and will grow to $47.3 billion six years later. That brings the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to almost 28%.

Of the top 10 markets, eight states already have adult use sales (California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington), and two more (Florida and Arizona) are expected to have implemented adult-use programs in the next five years.

Related Post