Report Sees ‘Explosive’ Growth for North American Cannabis Market – Insurance Journal

The cannabis market in North America will be worth $47.3 billion by 2024, a new report shows.

The report out this week paints a positive portrait of the cannabis industry in the U.S. and Canada that “is growing at an explosive rate, fueled by progressive legislative changes, innovation and a burgeoning commercial market.”

The North American Cannabis Report, which was issued by Prohibition Partners, a pro-cannabis industry data provider founded in 2017, forecasts medicinal and recreational cannabis will be legalized across North America and integrated across numerous industry verticals from pharma to food in coming years.

Canada has already legalized recreational use, and in the U.S. bills that would legalize and tax marijuana at the national level, and provide opportunities for people convicted of federal pot crimes to clear their records, have been introduced in Congress.

“If cannabis is legalized in all states of the U.S. by 2024, the total value for cannabis could be approaching the $50 billion mark,” the report states.

California alone is set to be a big contributor to that potential growth. A report focused on California release last month shows the state’s market is on track to hit $7.2 billion in 2024 on the back of an anticipated 19% compound annual growth rate.

The state’s cannabis industry has grown despite most local governments sitting on the sidelines of California’s cannabis rush.

The report looks at the 11 states, plus Washington, D.C., that have legalized recreational use cannabis, and the 33 states that have legalized medical use cannabis.

Potential legalization is afoot in other states. The report calls out Minnesota, where there are ongoing efforts to approve legislation that would permit Minnesotans aged 21 and over to possess and use cannabis recreationally, and Arizona, where “it is widely regarded as inevitable” the state is going to legalize recreational use.

A Pew Research Center poll in 2018 showed 62% of Americans supported legalizing cannabis.

According to the Prohibition Partners report, there are differences in generational viewpoints on legalization in the U.S.

A vast majority of Millennials (74%) are for legalization, followed by Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%).

Nearly seven out of 10 Democrats say cannabis use should be legal compared to Republicans with 51% opposed to legalizing cannabis.

In both the U.S. and Canada, 22% of people say they used recreational cannabis over the past year, according to the report.

The report include profiles of typical users in the U.S.:

  • Most people who use cannabis are parents
  • A total of 25% of millennial cannabis users say they feel “guilty” about their cannabis habit, compared with 17% of non-millennials.
  • The majority of cannabis users are male, educated below degree level and earn under $50,000 a year.
  • Around 35 million are “regular users” (at least once or twice a month).
  • Roughly 28% would use cannabis if the federal government legalized it nationally. The rest said the legal change wouldn’t make much of a difference in their behavior.

A large portion of the report looks at medicinal use, with “key medical opportunities” including treating addiction with CBD and aiding sleep disorders. Alleviating chronic pain is one of the biggest areas of potential for medical cannabis, the report says.

“Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and 20 million of them suffer from pain so severe that it limits life or work activities,” the report notes. “Research conducted by Yahoo News/Marist College in a 2017 survey found that almost one in five (19%) cannabis users use it to relieve pain, and this highlights the ways in which cannabis is currently being used for medicinal purposes. As of March 2019, two US states, New York and Illinois, have legalized the use of cannabis as an alternative to addictive opioids to help treat chronic pain.”

The report also shows concentrates and vapes to be the key growth categories, while products with higher dosages of CBD (Cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating cannabinoid in the cannabis plant that’s being viewed as a treatment for anxiety, pain, and other medical maladies) are entering the market.

“Topical and transdermal cannabis formulations are a growth area and are as attractive to the small niche players as they are to the major companies,” the report states.

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