Boulder, Colo.-based BDSA announced an update of its cannabis market forecast, a five-year rolling global forecast by country, state, province, channel and category. Cannabis sales for 2021 will near $31 billion, an increase of 41% more than 2020 sales. Further, BDSA forecasts global cannabis sales to grow from $30.6 billion in 2021 to $62.1 billion in 2026, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 15%.

“The cannabis industry continues to show exceedingly rapid growth, particularly within the U.S. market,” said Kelly Nielsen, vice president of insights and analytics for BDSA, in a statement. “New markets, both medical and adult-use, are developing at a faster pace than observed in the past, and states are transitioning from medical-only to fully legal in a shorter time frame.

“The industry continues to thrive, with sales exceeding expectations in several markets,” Nielsen continued. “This, compounded with more states passing legislation to legalize cannabis, drove the increase in BDSA’s outlook for the industry. The expansion and growth of adult-use markets in the U.S. continue to be the driving force of global cannabis sales.”

BDSA forecasts cannabis sales in the United States to surpass $24 billion in 2021, a growth of 38% more than 2020’s sales, and anticipates the United States to reach $47.6 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 14%. The following are drivers of U.S. growth:

●            Mature markets in the United States continued to see strong growth during the first half of 2021. California, the largest legal cannabis market in the world, saw the largest gain, growing 25%.

●            New markets are developing at an ever-increasing rate. Illinois and Massachusetts contributed more than double the spending in the first half of 2021 vs. 2020, while Arizona became the fastest state on record to transition from medical-only to adult-use.

●            Emerging markets drive growth in out-years and are representative of a long-term trend. Emerging markets include Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Virginia, and South Dakota.

Meanwhile, cannabis sales in Canada will total $4 billion in 2021 and are forecast to grow to $6.7 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 11%. Ontario, the largest cannabis market in Canada, is spearheading this boost, growing by almost 90% YoY in 2021. 

BDSA forecasts international sales will reach nearly $7.9 billion in 2026, up from $1.7 billion in 2021. International sales continue to be driven by medical cannabis markets in Mexico, Germany and the U.K.