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North American market worth US $47.3 billion by 2024

North America’s legal cannabis market will be worth over US $47.3 billion annually by 2024 with Canada representing US $3.4 billion. However, the true value of the market is likely to be much larger when black market sales are taken into consideration.

Recreational sales will surpass medicinal sales and account for two-thirds of the sales, according to The North America Cannabis Report by Prohibition Partners.

Growth Categories

Concentrates and vapes are the key growth categories in North America, while traditional flower is in decline as a share of total spending. Topical and transdermal cannabis formulations are another growth area and provide small niche players an opportunity to get into the market.

Canadian retailers are looking forward to legally selling these products starting in December. Trevor Fencott, CEO of Fire & Flower, says, “We believe these new and innovative products will bring new consumers to the category.”

Cannabis Consumers

22% of people in the US and Canada used recreational cannabis over the past 12 months.

There were an estimated 60.5 million cannabis users in 2019 according to the report. Citizens of New York City smoke more cannabis than citizens of any other city in the entire world – 77.4 tonnes of cannabis per annum compared with Karachi (42) and Delhi (38.3). In Canada, Toronto reported the highest usage at 22.75.

Pricing Trends

In 2018, the price of cannabis remained very stable in the US and Canada, continuing the trend of recent years. However, dispensaries’ sales data suggests that in 2018 cannabis cost around US$11.4 compared with US$8 per gram in Canada.

Statistics Canada reported that the average price of a legal gram of medical cannabis in Q4 of 2018 was CA$9.70, compared with the black-market price of CA$6.51. This highlights the continuing attraction of the black market.

Photo courtesy of Robert Baker