When most states began shutdowns ranging from minor to severe in mid-March, drastic economic disruption was all but guaranteed. Many people were forced to work from home and a large group of Americans lost their jobs altogether. Few industries have been left unaffected by the pandemic and its associated shutdown measures. One industry that seems to have escaped with little economic damage has been the legal cannabis industry. The Marijuana Business Factbook predicts that total legal marijuana sales in the United States will jump nearly 40% from 2019 to an estimated total of $15 billion in 2020.
Cannabis Sales Continue to Rise
Consumer spending in much of the U.S. economy has dropped drastically since the pandemic induced lockdowns began. Though as the dust settles, there is data that suggests cannabis sales have increased over the last few months. A survey of cannabis users conducted by Verilife found that most reported increasing their purchase and use of cannabis during COVID-19 induced quarantines. The survey found that the increase in respondents marijuana use led the average amount of money the survey’s respondents spent monthly on marijuana products to increase from $49 to $76.
This sharp increase in cannabis use reflects the reality most Americans were facing beginning in mid-March. When forced to stay inside and work from home, many Americans found it as good a time as any to consume marijuana to relax, have fun, or treat COVID-19 related anxiety and depression. As lockdowns begin to relax, people will begin to go out more and spend more money at restaurants, bars, and shops. However, don’t expect to see any sharp decline in cannabis sales.
A Very Bright Future Ahead
The cannabis industry’s ability to remain economically sound in the midst of a pandemic that has left few industries unscathed is a testament to its potential for growth. While the Marijuana Business Project projects great cannabis sales figures in 2020, their future projections should have those in the industry salivating. They expect that combined adult use and medical cannabis sales could top $30 billion annually by the year 2024. These figures are the latest to prove that legal cannabis sales have nowhere to go but up.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.