Market Update: Cannabis Industry Facts

cannabis industry worker

The cannabis industry is one of the leading pioneering sectors in our society today. Not only is it a worldwide market with an extremely high potential for growth, but it is one of the few industries that has the capacity to drastically enhance the overall economy across the globe. With the United States having some of the largest statewide cannabis markets in the world as well as Canada legalizing marijuana on a federal level, North America is carving the path for the future of the industry. As the legal cannabis sector spreads its wings, its economic potential is vastly reviving ancillary sectors across the world.

Let’s take an inside look at some cannabis industry facts to get a deeper understanding of this pioneering sector.

Recreational Marijuana Sales from 2018 – 2023

marijuana sales money

  • In 2018, recreational marijuana sales were between $5.3 billion and $6.2 billion.
  • In 2019, they are on pace to reach between $7 billion and $8.5 billion.
  • In 2020, they are estimated to hit $10.2 billion to $12.2 billion.
  • In 2021, they are expected to be from $13 billion to $15.7 billion.
  • In 2022, they are estimated to reach $15.7 billion to $19.1 billion.
  • By 2023, recreational marijuana sales are expected to reach somewhere from $18.1 billion up to $22 billion.

Medical Marijuana Sales from 2018 – 2023

  • In 2018, medical marijuana sales were between $3.3 billion and $3.8 billion.
  • In 2019, they are on pace to be somewhere between $4.2 billion and $5.2 billion.
  • In 2020, they are expected to hit $5.5 billion to $6.8 billion.
  • In 2021, they are estimated to reach $6.4 billion to $7.8 billion.
  • In 2022, they are estimated to be $6.7 billion to $8.3 billion.
  • By 2023, medical marijuana sales are expected to reach up to $6.9 billion to $8.4 billion.

These findings and estimations are from Marijuana Business Daily.

In 2018 alone, there was a 34% increase in cannabis sales throughout the country. As more state markets continue to open their doors to both medical and recreational marijuana, these potential sales numbers could continue to drastically increase.

Combining both the recreational cannabis and medical marijuana sales, the market is estimated to reach up to $30 billion by 2023 in the US alone. Some even predict the United States cannabis market could grow to be an $80 billion industry by the year of 2030. Compared to other markets, the potential sales and revenue growth of legal marijuana is unprecedented.

Marijuana Workplace & Employment Statistics

marijuana job budtender

  • In 2018, the United States added 64,389 full-time legal cannabis jobs — a 44% increase.
  • In 2019, California alone is estimated to add over 10,000 legal cannabis jobs.
  • In 2019, Florida is estimated to add an additional 9,500 legal cannabis jobs.
  • Today, there are now over 211,000 full-time legal cannabis jobs in the US industry.
  • If you include indirect ancillary jobs associated with the legal cannabis industry, this number increases to over 296,000 jobs.

These findings are from a recent study which thoroughly breaks down job counts within the United States legal cannabis industry. These numbers do not include the booming hemp and CBD markets occurring nationwide.

As the industry continues to develop and grow throughout the nation, it is only logical to assume the number of jobs will drastically increase. Even if new job openings increase just 20% each year, the number of full-time positions within the cannabis industry will surpass a majority of other job sectors in the United States.

Median Salary for Cannabis Workers

  • The median salary for cannabis workers is around $58,511 per year.
  • Wages within the cannabis industry are nearly 11% higher than the median salary of all jobs in the United States — roughly $52,863 per year.
  • Entry-level cannabis positions average around $12 to $16 per hour, which is substantially higher than the minimum wage in many places across the nation.

There are several factors that may contribute to the higher wages within the cannabis industry. It could be the fact that many of the legal states have a higher cost of living, for instance. It could also be tied to the fact that cannabis sales are booming and continuously increasing across the board. Regardless of the dependent variables, as these numbers continue to skyrocket, it will likely attract more and more workers to the industry.

Women Executives in the Cannabis Industry

  • In 2015, 36% of senior-level positions at cannabis companies were held by women.
  • In 2017, women held around 27% of the senior-level positions.
  • In 2019, women now account for more than a third — nearly 37% — of business executives in the cannabis industry.
  • This is considerably higher than the overall national average, as women only represent around 21% of business executives across all industries in the United States as of 2018.

The above cannabis industry facts are exciting to see. Women have not only become a significant consumer segment, they now have a strong leadership presence in the workplace and are becoming major contributors within the cannabis industry overall.

Cannabis Production Statistics

cannabis production facility

Energy Required for Indoor Cannabis Cultivation

  • The energy required for indoor cannabis cultivation in the United States totals at around $6 billion in energy costs every year.
  • This is roughly 10 times the amount of energy (per square foot) of an ordinary office building; enough to power nearly 1.7 million homes in the United States.
  • In California, energy consumption for cannabis cultivation accounts for nearly 3% of all electricity consumption throughout the entire state.
  • In the city of Denver alone, cannabis cultivation makes up for about 4% of the city’s electricity use each year.
  • The amount of greenhouse gas pollution generated by indoor cannabis growing facilities is said to be equivalent to that of 3 million cars.

While these numbers are remarkably high compared to other industries, this is a new and evolving industry, and there are many people working to further advance these practices and lower these numbers. Many states and local municipalities are beginning to establish limits on energy consumption, and there are significant technological advances debuting every year, intended to greatly cut down on the amount of energy needed to operate a cultivation center. It will take some time and resources to drastically decrease these numbers, but the necessary steps are being taken in the right direction.

Marijuana Production in Canada

  • Aurora Cannabis Company produces around 780,000 kilos of cannabis each year.
  • Canopy Growth Corporation produces around 550,000 kilos of cannabis per year with plans to further increase production.
  • Tilray produces around 100,000 kilos of cannabis per year.
  • With only three of the largest cannabis corporations producing nearly 1.4 million kilos per year, hitting 4 million kilos in a year is a piece of cake for Canada.

If Canada produces 4 million kilos in a year, that would be equal to 4 trillion grams of marijuana (a kilo is equivalent to 1,000 grams). While a majority of cannabis grown in Canada stays in Canada, a substantial amount of it is exported to other countries all around the world, including Italy. These are essential cannabis industry facts to pay attention to as the market develops into a global powerhouse.

In Conclusion ...

cannabis industry growth

These cannabis industry facts show that the cannabis industry is just getting started. Canada may be one of the largest cannabis producers at this time because they have federally legalized cannabis, but once the United States and other nations catch up, it is only a matter of time before cannabis production skyrockets and cannabis sales hit numbers unheard of within our economy.

While seeing the growth of the cannabis industry is exciting to watch, it can also be somewhat concerning for those who genuinely care about the quality and passion behind legal marijuana. It is easy to see the capitalistic structure building behind the scenes. The average cannabis consumer is unaware of the big players looking to rule the future of the legal market.

These cannabis industry facts are just a handful among those that everyone should pay attention to as the market continues to develop. As it continues to grow, it will be essential to keep the industry honest and true to its roots.