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Global Cannabis Sales Expected to Hit $61 Billion by 2026

Forecasters say totals will rise 22 percent in 2022 alone.

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Federal legalization is still at a crossroads, but with the majority of U.S. states allowing cannabis use — medical marijuana is approved in 39 states and the District of Columbia, with 19 states (plus D.C.) permitting recreational or adult-use  — sales continue to grow.

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Cannabis market research firm BDSA says it will skyrocket, too. A report released today says sales will reach just over $35 billion in 2022 alone, a jump of approximately 22 percent over 2021 sales of $29 billion. By 2026, global cannabis sales will surpass $61 billion. 

RELATED: U.S. Cannabis Sales Topped $37 Billion in 2021. Will Sales Decline in 2022?

Looking back at 2021

New U.S. markets experienced the greatest surge, especially Midwestern states like Illinois, with $1.8 billion in sales in 2021, and Missouri, a medical-only market that reached $210 million. Arizona went bonkers for weed in its first year, topping $1.4 billion in 2021.

Emerging markets will drive sales through 2026, as more states come on board every year. The number of legal states is dwindling, and the pace of legalization will increase as more medical and adult-use bills are seeing unprecedented bipartisan support at the state level.

RELATED: Will These Global Cannabis Markets See Growth in 2022? It's Complicated.

Looking forward

Legal cannabis sales will surpass $28 billion here in the U.S., and could reach $46 billion by 2026. California will remain the largest contributor, followed by New York, New Jersey — which could finally see retail sales for recreational weed before the summerFlorida, and Michigan.  

In Canada, sales reached an estimated $3.8 billion in 2021 and are projected to climb to $6.3 billion by 2026. Most come from Ontario, with British Columbia being another leading contributor. 

Elsewhere around the world, international sales are expected to reach $9.5 billion by 2026, with the bulk spearheaded by Germany and Mexico, followed by France and the U.K.

It’s safe to say that the world is taking an interest in marijuana and hemp more than ever before, which will lead to significant market and regulatory growth. Internationally, the position of the cannabis and hemp markets has demonstrated wins and losses as regulations continue to be in flux. But legal sales will continue to rise.