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Industry Buzz March 2018 Recreational Marijuana Growth Outpaces Medicinal

INDUSTRY BUZZ Recreational Marijuana Growth Outpacing Medicinal, Expected to Drive Both Hobby and Commercial Markets

Legal weed in North America is expected to climb to an amazing $22.6 billion in revenue in 2021. Within this high-growth market, according to Arcview Market Research, recreational cannabis spending is expected to outpace medical marijuana sales by next year. As this steep upward trend is expected for med and rec categories alike, both hobby and commercial growers are expected to experience continued growth as they share an expanding sandbox of opportunity.

For medical marijuana, many states require a letter of recommendation from their doctor to use and carry small amounts of the drug. Eligibility varies dramatically by state with some having limitations on the quantity and form of drugs purchased. New York and Minnesota have two of the strictest medical marijuana programs in the nation.

In comparison, the recreational marijuana market is much more lax. In California, adults over the age of 21 can buy up to an ounce of marijuana and grow as many as six plants at home without a doctor’s letter. Artisanal cannabis is expected to be a growth industry, evolving as craft beer did with new strains and hybrids developed by visionary farmers. Where the medicinal marijuana market may be predominately supported by ‘Walmart pot’, the recreational market is expected to include high-end marijuana with numerous strains and distinctive effects.

In effect, the hobbyist marijuana market is expected to thrive just as home brew market has in the face of large commercial brewers. With respect to med vs rec, a standard ‘Budweiser’ may satisfy medicinal needs while a recreational consumer may prefer a craft brew, supplied by a home hobbyist or a differentiated commercial grower. As a result, whether supporting the home hobbyists or the commercial growers, retailers should expect green pastures for years to come.

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