The pandemic, which proved devastating to many businesses, had the opposite effect on the marijuana industry. Sales of both medical and recreational weed in 2020 toppled sales records in states like Colorado and Oregon, where sales have been legal for several years. New markets, like those in Illinois and Ohio, started off incredibly strong. They continued with an upward trajectory through the year.
This year is expected to be no different. The pandemic has made a point: we need our weed.
- California hit $4.4 billion in sales, compared with $2.8 billion in 2019 and $1.4 billion in 2018.
- Colorado’s sales figures for both medical and recreational cannabis exceeded $2 billion by November. Compare that to $1.7 billion in 2019 and $1.5 billion in 2018.
- Oregon’s annual sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time in 2020. From May through August, recreational and medical sales topped $100 million.
- Washington state, the second-oldest adult-use market in the country, reached a sales high of $1.4 billion in 2020. This is up from $1.1 billion in 2019 and just over $1 billion in 2018.
- Illinois knocked it out of the park in its first year of adult-use sales by breaking the $1 billion mark.
- Massachusetts tallied almost $700 million in sales, up roughly 56% from 2019 – despite last spring’s temporary adult-use store closures.
- Nevada, which depends on tourists for many industries, appears on pace to beat its 2019 sales totals of $701 million, with more than $554 million in medical and recreational sales through September. These numbers don’t account for fourth-quarter sales figures.
As social acceptance of marijuana becomes more widespread, sales and growth will continue to align with that. Sales levels are expected to continue. Experts collectively agree that 2020 sets a bar for industry performance. They anticipate continued growth as the marijuana industry expands and matures.