Over 60% of the U.S. population (thirty two states and the District of Columbia) now lives in states that have legalized some form of cannabis use and sales, illustrating the rising acceptance of cannabis nationwide and highlighting the industry’s immense potential for future growth.

As at November 2018, 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.


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

There are 9,397 active licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S., according to Ed Keating, chief data officer for Cannabiz Media, which tracks cannabis licenses. This includes cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, deliverers and test labs.

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.


The passage of initiatives in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan (2018), Missouri (2018), Florida, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma (2018), Utah (2018) and West Virginia will add $7.4 billion to the 2021 market forecast bringing the overall market projection for legal adult-use and medical sales in North America to $24.5 billion by 2021. That brings the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to 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.

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