Interest in the marijuana industry is soaring due to increased public acceptance and reduced regulation in US states as well as in countries around the world. The multibillion-dollar global industry is experiencing strong growth, though the newness of the market and variance in regulation across geographies creates major barriers to entry. The industry includes medical marijuana dispensaries and stores that sell marijuana for recreational use.
Investors and entrepreneurs are confident of the market's potential, but determining which business approaches are most viable is challenging. Legal and financial risk parameters are difficult to define, and industry data and analysis are minimal. Regardless, increased capital is flowing steadily into the industry. Startup resources including finance, logistics, software, and consulting are materializing rapidly.
Estimates of the number of retail marijuana establishments in the US range from about 3,000 to 5,000. No major companies dominate the industry. Revenue for the US adult use and medical markets was $9.8 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of more than 20% through 2024, according to a 2019 report from ArcView Group and BDS Analytics. Marijuana was legal for medical use in 33 states and for recreational use in 11 states as of September 2019. The global market is growing rapidly, with estimated revenue of $10.9 billion in 2018.
Demand is driven by demographics, public awareness of the marijuana plant's medicinal properties, and the desire for natural health treatments. Following decades of prohibition in the US, marijuana has gained greater public acceptance. Baby boomers with health conditions are driving medical marijuana sales, while recreational users include younger generations seeking a substitute to alcohol or other euphoric substances. Marijuana faces ongoing opposition due to health and addiction concerns, and the pros and cons of marijuana use remain widely debated.
Paths to Entry
• Financial Resources
• Supply & Logistics Connections
• IT Systems for Accounting, Inventory, Security
Barriers to Entry
• Wide Variance in Regulation
• Public Opinion
• Political Climate
US Growth Markets
• Recreational: California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington
• Medical: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York State, Ohio
International Growth Markets
• North America: Canada, Jamaica
• Latin America: Uruguay, Chile, Colombia
• Europe: Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany
Products, Operations & Technology
Retail marijuana stores sell cannabis products to adults primarily for medical use (about 70% of industry revenue), though recreational shops are increasing
Sales & Marketing
Finance & Regulation
Regional & International Issues
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
Trends and Opportunities
Call Preparation Questions
Glossary of Acronyms