Medical Marijuana Market Reaches New Highs Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Thomas Price Wednesday, November 4, 2020

In the modern age, very few industries have grown at such impressive rates as the medical marijuana market. As legalization slowly sweeps across the nation on a state by state basis, the industry has continued to build on itself. In the past few years alone, medical marijuana has made major waves as the pain relief properties inherent in the substance become better utilized across the board. In the meantime, many large companies and personalities have put themselves in the industry as they slowly recognize their long term potential. So, where does the medical marijuana market currently stand, and what kind of growth can be expected in the coming years?

The Medical Marijuana Market Today

Medical marijuana has seen steady and impressive growth leading up to 2020. In 2018, the medical marijuana industry earned about $5.994 billion in revenue throughout the United States. This earned the market a global valuation of $6.338 billion that year, though the growth since then has only continued. Predictions at the beginning of 2020 projected that cannabidiol (CBD) products alone would generate up to $2.1 billion by the end of the year.

However, with the COVID-19 pandemic taking 2020 by storm, the world has had to readjust significantly to prior expectations. It could not have been predicted that medical marijuana sales would have exploded this year in the manner that they did. In states like Florida and Pennsylvania, there has been a serious upsurge of sales that has made a significant difference to the businesses that sell medical marijuana products. In Florida, during the time frame of September 11th to the 17th, over 134 million milligrams of medical marijuana were sold. To put this in perspective, this is approximately a 47% increase since mid-March when the pandemic first began to seriously sweep the nation. When comparing the same six month period of time to 2019, sales only grew by about 13.1%. In Pennsylvania, the state saw the number of patients visiting medical dispensaries increase from around 70,000 people a week in February up to around 120,000 people a week by mid-August. This marks a whopping 70% increase in weekly visits for the state. In fact, since February, Pennsylvania has sold more marijuana products than it had in the previous two years combined. The sales reached a total of about $385 million. Cases like Florida and Pennsylvania are not uncommon across the United States in 2020, especially as legality continues to expand for the medical marijuana industry. As it currently stands, only ten states across the nation still categorized medical marijuana as completely illegal.

Medical Marijuana Growth in the Future

The medical marijuana market has multiple major factors contributing to its growth. While the slow legalization process is happening, that process is aided by a growing awareness of the medicinal properties of marijuana and increased prevalence of issues such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, neurological disorders, and acute pain. Because of this, analysts are predicting aggressive expansion in the market over the next six years. By 2026, the medical marijuana market is projected to reach a global value of $26.92 billion. In order to reach this, the estimated compound annual growth rate will be a whopping 20.4%. In North America alone, revenues in the industry are expected to reach $24.578 billion by 2026. With dozens of high-level companies making it more and more accessible to purchase and consume good quality medical marijuana products, the extreme optimism that many analysts have of the market seem rather well placed.

Final Conclusions

Medical Marijuana has shown time and time again to help alleviate pain and many serious symptoms from diseases and disorders. As the market grows and becomes more attuned to treating specific symptoms, it becomes harder to ignore both from a business and legal standpoint. 40 of the 50 states have it legalized in at least some form of medical ability, with more to come. With ecommerce and further awareness of its benefits continuing to spread, a 20.4% annual growth rate does not seem out of the ordinary. The medical marijuana industry boomed over the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and shows no signs of slowing down, especially with so much more room to grow.

About the Author

Headshot of Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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