Both medical and recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. increased 67 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, according to a Leafly analysis of state tax and revenue data. Total cannabis sales have reached $17.9 billion this year, $7.2 billion more than the previous year’s sales.
The “main driver” of the increase, Leafly says, was an increase in the average purchase size of established customers, who upped their monthly cannabis buys between 25% and 40% on average.
Nine states – Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania – doubled their cannabis sales from 2019, the report says. Maine, notably, finally launched adult-use sales after nearly four years of delays and medical cannabis sales subsequently surpassed potato, hay, wild blueberry, and milk sales to become the state’s most lucrative crop. Florida’s medical cannabis sales topped $1.2 billion this year, making it the fourth-largest cannabis market in the U.S. this year, trailing only the adult-use states of California, Colorado, and Washington, according to the report.
Leafly estimated the final weeks of cannabis sales by “assuming an average of the past three months of revenue figures,” but plans to publish a full account of the year’s sales figures in their annual Cannabis Jobs Report which the company plans to release in February.
Several states have reported increased sales amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to stay-at-home orders and economic shutdowns throughout the U.S., however, cannabis businesses by-and-large remained open as essential services. For example, from February to August, Pennsylvania dispensaries reported a 70% increase in weekly patient visits, while New Mexico cannabis sales increased 55% over the first six months of the year.
During the General Election – and amid the pandemic – voters in six states approved either adult-use or medical cannabis legalization measures.