Sales of legal marijuana products rose by more than $7 billion in 2020, according to an analysis of state revenue data compiled by Leafly.com.
In all, customers purchased an estimated $17.9 billion in cannabis products from legal retailers in 2020 – up from $10.7 billion in 2019. Leafly’s analysis includes sales from both medical-use and adult-use retailers.
The spike in sales was in large part due to customers purchasing greater quantities of cannabis per retail transaction than ever before. This shift began in March, at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and held steadily throughout the remainder of the year.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, regulators in several states designed marijuana retailers as ‘essential businesses,’ which permitted them to stay open under relaxed or, in some cases, new emergency rules intended to facilitate expanded customer access. As a result, several states reported an unprecedented volume of retail sales in the spring and summer.
According to Leafly’s analysis, the largest marijuana sales markets in 2020 were: California, Colorado, Washington, and Florida. Nine states more than doubled their 2019 sales totals.
Commenting on the totals, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The dramatic rise in retail marijuana sales is not only a reflection of increased consumer demand, but also the result of many consumers shifting from the illicit market to the above-ground legal marketplace. As these state-legal markets continue to mature and become more accessible, consumers are going to continue gravitate toward it and away from the underground marketplace.”
Click here to read Leafly’s full analysis.