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Marijuana Sales in the Midwest Are Lighting Up

Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri are poised to be three of the top 10 contributors to U.S. cannabis sales growth by 2026.

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The Midwest is becoming a larger player in the legal cannabis marketplace as more states begin to legalize recreational use. Two of the most populated states, Michigan and Illinois, have legal markets that are skyrocketing. BDSA Retail Sales Tracking data shows that total 2021 sales in Illinois were around 70 percent higher than in 2020, while legal sales in Michigan totaled around $1.8 billion in 2021, roughly double the estimated legal sales in 2020.

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The Michigan market is the third-largest legal adult-use cannabis market in the U.S. behind Colorado and California. This rapid growth is driven by its sizable population of around 10 million, along with its established market from the medical-only era. Missouri has also seen rapid growth since the launch of medical sales in late 2020, with its medical-only market reaching an unexpected high of $210 million in 2021. The Missouri market is expected to grow to around $1 billion dollars in total sales by 2026.

Related: New Report Reveals Just How Much Weed Is Being Sold in America

Brands and MSOs to watch

Several Midwest cannabis brands are on the rise. Two top players to watch in Illinois include Rythm, a subsidiary brand of Green Thumb Industries, and Cresco Cannabis, a subsidiary brand of Cresco Labs.

Rythm is a cannabis brand offering a variety of cannabis-derived products, specializing in offering unique strains with distinct notes, aromas, flavors and growing conditions. The brand was ranked number one by dollar sales across BDSA-tracked markets in 2021.

Cresco Cannabis was the number two ranked brand by dollar sales in 2021 across BDSA-tracked markets according to BDSA Retail Sales Tracking. This premium cultivator grows a variety of cannabis products including flower, pre-rolls, solid live concentrates, vapes and more.

Other rising stars in the Midwest to keep your eye on include Illinois-based Grassroots, which was acquired by Curaleaf in 2020, women-owned, organic CBD provider Equilibria, and Red White & Bloom, a cannabis provider offering a proprietary suite of products.

The Future of the Midwest Market

In 2021, emerging markets in the U.S. saw some of the strongest growth, especially in Midwestern markets. As cannabis continues to become more commercially available and accepted culturally, the Midwest will be a huge driver of cannabis growth throughout 2022 and beyond. Midwest states will continue to gain potential as the legal cannabis market expands and evolves.

BDSA expects that total U.S. cannabis sales will reach around $28 billion in 2022, a growth of about 20 percent over the total legal sales in 2021. With sales having slowed in mature markets such as California, Colorado and Oregon, Midwest markets are expected to be a major driver of this new growth. BDSA forecasts total U.S. cannabis sales to reach around $46 billion by 2026, with the Midwest markets of Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri being three of the top 10 contributors to U.S. cannabis sales growth over that period.