Once illegal and almost a niche product, the legal marijuana plant is now gaining popularity all over the world. The increasing application of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes is benefiting the global legal marijuana market. Since the controlled legalization of marijuana, numerous variants of medical marijuana have established a foothold in the market. Globally, cannabis is revolutionizing severe ailments in the healthcare industry. Physicians recommend medical marijuana for pain management therapies, anxiety issues, arthritis, and stress management.

Additionally, cannabis has proven to help people suffering from chronic pain. Other than the medicinal purposes, the marijuana plant is extensively used as a psychoactive drug among the populous. Marijuana for recreational purposes is highly popular among the millennial and generation Z. The legal marijuana market is gaining traction with the growing weekend culture in both the developed and the developing economies. Global legal marijuana market size was evaluated at $14.43 billion in 2018. Foreseeing the current trend of cannabis legalization, the global legal marijuana market demand is projected to portray growth at a phenomenal CAGR of 23.9% during the forecast period 2019 to 2025.  

North America Leading the Legal Marijuana Market 

North American region was observed as the most lucrative region in the global legal marijuana market and was accountable for 43.16% of the total market share. From an illegal drug to the biggest cash crop for the nation, the journey of marijuana in the United States has been exceptional. According to a report from the Drug Policy Alliance Headquarters, the United States recognizes the legal usage of recreational marijuana in 9 states and medical marijuana in 29 states as of 2018. A fair portion of the population in the U.S. is relying on medical marijuana as the plant contains numerous chemicals that help treat a range of symptoms and illness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data and found out that around 50 million of U.S. adults suffered from chronic pain and 19.6 million had high-impact or severe chronic pain. Also, the National Center for Biotechnology Information recognizes the CDC’s report that suggests chronic diseases account for around 75% of the total healthcare spending in the United States. With such massive prevalence, the chronic disease in the region, the percentage of people turning to marijuana medication is constantly increasing and is reporting strong results. This overwhelming medical situation increased adoption of marijuana, and supportive governmental laws are expected to support the regional legal marijuana market.    

Medicinal Utility of Cannabis Considered as the Major Application in the Legal Marijuana Market; Portraying CAGR of 21.13% during 2019-2025

Cannabis is tremendously spreading its application as a cure for a sleep disorder, anxiety, and pain-related conditions such as neuropathic pain and fibrotic problems. Considering this hiked acceptance of cannabis as a medicinal drug, the pharmaceutical companies are attempting to integrate medical marijuana-based medicines in their product portfolio. One such New York-based company, PharamaCannis, is using a self-emulsifying drug delivery process to develop its PharmaCannis Capsules to increase the efficiency of its plant-extracted medical marijuana products. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also supporting the application of marijuana-based prescription drugs. GW Pharmaceutical is poised as the global leader in developing cannabinoid-based medicines. The company started its research and development on cannabinoid therapeutics in 1998, since then it has produced numerous products for aiding persons suffering from seizures. GW pharmaceutical produced the world’s first cannabis prescription medicine called Sativex derived from the marijuana plant. This medicine was first released in the United States, and now this medication has expanded its reach to 25 countries. A significant amount of capital is being invested in the research and development of the marijuana plant to find its new applications in the healthcare industry. Considering such efforts to incorporate marijuana in the healthcare industry, the global legal marijuana market is expected to flourish in the upcoming years.

Market Forces Influencing the Legal Marijuana Market

Pulling Capital from the Black Market: Marijuana is prevalent among humans for a long time now. It was consumed by humans before its legalization as well. However, before legalization, the marijuana industry relied on the black market for transactions, and the capital involved in the industry was directly or indirectly supporting the mafias and terrorists. After its legalization, the marijuana industry has become a million-dollar sector and has parted its way from the black market. This has encouraged multiple start-ups to develop creative legal marijuana products, and the industry has witnessed a series of mergers and acquisitions that are supporting the legal marijuana market growth. 

Edible Marijuana Products: With innovative ideas and creative mindsets handling the industry, the sector has seen rapid development in the product fleet. Nowadays, edible marijuana products are radically gaining popularity. Edible marijuana cake, brownie, chocolate, and other snacks are some of the major factors inducing a positive growth in the legal marijuana market. As per the National Restaurant Association, the plant-based ingredient cannabis is considered as the hottest culinary trend in 2019. Additionally, according to 77% of the member chefs in the American Culinary Federation found that cannabinoids (CBD) infused drinks as the top trend in the beverages section. One other effective trend in the legal marijuana market is developing cannabis chewing gums. AXIM Biotechnology is a firm researching and developing cannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products. The company is expected to start its clinical trials for its new product called CanChew which is a medical cannabis chewing gum. This product is still in its development phase and is expected to attract a significant population once manufactured and distributed. Clinical trials for this product are expected to be carried out in the Netherlands, Israel, and Canada. This chewing is estimated to be released in geographies that have legalized the usage of marijuana, thereby inducing a significant demand in the legal marijuana market.  

Social Media Factor: digital addiction among people is driving the legal marijuana market. It is considered as one of the major aspects supporting the legal marijuana market growth. Digital platforms such as Instagram and Facebook are poised as the major marketing sources for marijuana companies. To target the millennial and generation Z consumer base, the legal marijuana manufacturing companies are using social media as a tool to filter potential audience for their product.  

Flourishing Marijuana Tourism: Marijuana tourism has been active for a long time now. The trend started in Amsterdam, and now it is paving its way from Jamaica to Ontario. Cannabis hospitality is a concept on which the proactive tourism and hospitality companies are leveraging upon. Airbnb, one of the most popular hospitality service company, is expanding the legal marijuana market by introducing a feature in their service called the bud and breakfast. Under this service, the customers will be served marijuana with their breakfast at their stay. The company has started this service in a few parts of the United States, Amsterdam, and Canada and is aiming to spread its services with this feature.

Legal Marijuana Market Competitive Landscape

The companies influencing the legal marijuana market are Canopy Growth Corporation, Aphria, Inc., Aurora Cannabis Inc., Maricann Group Inc., Tilray; The Cronos Group; Organigram Holding Inc., ABcann Medicinals Inc., GW Pharmaceuticals plc., and Lexaria Corp.

Related report:

A. Medical Marijuana Market


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