The global cannabis market was Valued at USD 22.10 billion in 2020. The market is projected to witness a CAGR of 13.9% during the forecast period (2021-2026). Like every other market, COVID-19 had an adverse impact on the cannabis market as well. The imposition of lockdown limited consumers from visiting brick-and-mortar shops. However, many cannabis companies began relying heavily on social media and e-commerce platforms to market to consumers during the year. Cannabis retail outlets, producers, manufacturers, distributors, and warehouses were deemed essential services by the Alberta Government on March 30, 2020. As a result, cannabis businesses and services continued to serve Albertans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The drivers identified in the market are the proven medicinal properties of cannabis, legalization of cannabis, active research genetic development and modification of the plant, and advancements in intellectual property rights of cannabis. For instance, in January 2018, the Australian government allowed cannabis producers in the region to export medical cannabis and its products to the global market. North America dominates the market. The cannabis industry has grown and matured significantly in the United States as it is used extensively in the region for medicinal purposes. As a psychoactive drug, cannabis continues to find extensive favor among both recreational and medicinal users in the United States
Key Market Trends
Increasing Legalization of Cannabis is Driving the Market
Medicinal cannabis accounts for a significant share of the cannabis market. Many countries, such as Australia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Portugal, and Uruguay, have legalized the usage of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In the United States provinces, where cannabis has been legalized, consumers are mostly aged 50 years and above. Owing to the higher risk of chronic diseases post 50 years of age and the effectiveness of cannabis on such conditions, this demographic profile is expected to boost the demand for cannabis in the country.
In Asia, medical marijuana was legalized in December 2018 in Thailand. In certain parts of India, cannabis use is de facto legalized, and there is a lot of regional innovation. As of July 2019, 11 states and Washington DC legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes in the United States. On the other hand, 30 states in the United States legalized the usage of cannabis for medical purposes. More states are estimated to follow suit during the forecast period, considering the widespread demand for cannabis and its medicinal properties.
According to the US Government Accountability Office (under State Medical Marijuana Laws), symptoms and conditions that can be treated by cannabis include Alzheimer’s disease, anorexia, HIV-AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, arthritis, epilepsy, nausea, pain, cachexia, Crohn’s disease, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, and wasting syndrome. Continuous research and standardization of products for medicinal purposes are expected to increase the popularity and demand for cannabis in the future.
North America Dominates the Market
Following the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the North American cannabis market is set to become the major producer of cannabis. In October 2018, Canada legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes nationwide.
In December 2018, the US government approved the farm bill, making cannabis containing less than 0.3% THC legal in the country. Similarly, some of its derivative compounds have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for medicinal use. Marinol, Syndros, Cesamet, and Epidolex are cannabinoid drugs that received approval from the FDA. Furthermore, in the United States, ten states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, while 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Among these states, California, Washington, and Colorado are the leading cannabis sellers. The production levels of cannabis in North America have increased rapidly over the past few years due to the expansion of the major players’ production capacities.
The global cannabis market is an extremely fragmented market with both local and regional players occupying significant market shares. In the cannabis market, companies are very active and are involved continuously in acquiring shares and developing new products to attract more consumers toward their products. For instance, in January 2019, Canopy Growth expanded its beverage portfolio with the launch of the first CBD-Infused beverage line Quatreau.The cannabis market witnessed more than 20 Partnership, 18 Product Innovation, 15 Expansion, and 12 Mergers and Acquisition in 2016-2020, which includes public and private players.
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