A new report shows that legal marijuana sales brought in an estimated $30 billion in 2022.
This is more than the sales of chocolate and craft beer combined — they generated $20 billion and $7.9 billion, respectively. It’s also more than opioid medications and topical pain relief combined, which reeled in $22.8 billion and $2.8 billion over the same period.
But in the US, tobacco products still reigned supreme, bringing in $52.7 billion last year.
It doesn’t feel so long ago that there was a controversy surrounding Colorado and Washington state legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012. However, since then, many other states have been quick to follow suit and legalize the drug.
Since 2012, 20 additional states legalized recreational marijuana, while another 19 allow medical use.
Industry reports show that medical cannabis sales are expected to decline over the coming years as consumers turn to other readily available options. This has less to do with diminishing demand and more with expanding selection of products. Alternative ways that marijuana can be consumed now include vape pens, gummies, beverages, resins, tinctures, and more.
With all that said, the cannabis industry still faces its fair share of struggles. Most notably, there are major regulatory challenges which make it hard for marijuana businesses to raise funding, legally navigate the market, and stay in business.
The recreational marijuana industry may have to continue to overcome pitfalls in the short term. But the sales suggest demand could keep this relatively young industry around for the long haul.
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