The cannabis industry is growing at an exponential pace due to the recent string of countries and U.S. states legalizing cannabis. However, the industry still remains in its infancy stage, considering only two countries have completely legalized it. Uruguay became the first country ever to fully legalize cannabis entirely back in 2013 when its former President Jose Mujica signed the legislation. Half a decade later, Canada followed Uruguay and legalized cannabis entirely as well.
There are several countries that maintain very lenient regulations when it comes to cannabis, but technically, it is still not legalized. The Netherlands allows citizens to keep and cultivate some marijuana. Coffee shops are permitted to sell marijuana as long as it’s not to minors. Similarly, Spain also has shops and clubs where people are allowed to use cannabis, however, it still illegal to sell. Despite countries like the Netherlands and Spain having relaxed rules regarding cannabis, the U.S. is still projected to dominate the industry even though it is still not federally legalized.
U.S. states began to legalize cannabis for medical applications as early as the 1990s. Currently, 33 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis on a certain level. Among the 33, Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have legalized cannabis for recreational usage. Colorado and Washington became the first when voters passed the ballot back in 2012 to legalize recreational use. Now, states like California, Colorado, Washington, and Nevada are already or expected to drive in over a billion dollars in revenue annually, accounting for majority of the broad cannabis market value.
Based on recent trends, data compiled by Arcview Market Research in partnership with BDS Analytics predicts that worldwide consumer spending on legal cannabis will reach USD 57 Billion by 2027. The research also forecasts that adult-use cannabis will makeup majority of the spending totaling USD 38.3 Billion, while medical spending is expected to reach USD 19.1 Billion. The North American segment is expected to account for the largest spending volume, growing from USD 9.2 Billion in 2017 to USD 47.3 Billion in 2027. However, the research also suggests that Europe has potential to hold the largest medical cannabis spending.
CLS Holdings USA, Inc. (OTCQB: CLSH) (CSE: CLSH) has captured the opportunity by expanding itself within the U.S. market. Originally, CLS started in Nevada and acquired Oasis Cannabis Dispensary. Oasis operates a dispensary in Las Vegas, Nevada. CLS expanded itself into Massachusetts recently with the acquisition of In Good Health, Inc. In Good Health operates a medical dispensary just south of Boston and is one of the 48 licensed dispensaries in the state.
Massachusetts is a much smaller cannabis market compared to states like Colorado. Colorado has over 500 licensed dispensaries and over 700 licensed cultivation facilities. While Massachusett is rather small compared to other states that are already booming in sales, however, it is among the few states that have legalized cannabis for recreational usage. Despite its market size, Massachusetts is still developing and could position itself to be a major growth driver for the overall industry.
Continued growth in the maturing medical and recreational segment, ongoing legalization efforts globally, and developing research and development of cannabis itself is expected to propel the industry. Investments into the market are steadily pouring in, allowing cannabis to potentially become the next global industry phenomenon. “The industry is at about 5 percent of what it will be someday,” concurs Tyler Stratford, Director of Client Operations for cannabis consulting firm Canna Advisors. “Even if the path forward isn’t straight, we’re certainly on a path forward. The tide has changed, and there’s no turning it back now.”