Despite uncertainty in the cannabis space fueled by recent comments from federal government officials, the legal cannabis market is expected to grow at a 27 percent compound annual rate through 2021, according to an Arcview Market Research report outlined by Bloomberg. In 2016 legal cannabis sales reached $6.7 billion – up 34 percent from the previous year.
Arcview CEO Troy Dayton said that not only would a crackdown on the legal cannabis trade be “so politically unpopular it would be silly,” but in 2014 Congress passed an amendment to an appropriations bill the prevents the Justice Department from using funds to interfere state medical cannabis programs. Although the measure does not protect adult-use markets, it is plausible that similar protections could be implemented this fall, Dayton said.
“We’ve got all these other countries that are passing more laws and also other states, and presumably the federal government could end marijuana prohibition as soon as 2021,” he said in the report. “There’s never been a market that’s grown at 20-plus percent growth each year for 10 years, right? But that’s possible here.”
The Arcview report indicates that North American total cannabis sales totaled $56.1 billion last year; however, 88 percent of those sales were illegal.