BDSA Walks Back Global Cannabis Sales Forecast by $5B

The primary driver of the lowered forecast is Germany's decision to not launch a broad adult-use program.

The most recent global cannabis market forecast from Colorado-based BDSA predicts that the industry will hit $55 billion in sales by 2027, a big increase from about $32 billion in 2022.

But it is a significant downward revision from another BDSA report earlier this year, which projected that global marijuana sales would hit almost $60 billion by 2027. That change the German government’s decision to retreat from its original plan for a broad recreational market, opting instead for a more limited pilot program, BDSA executives told Green Market Report.

“The primary factor in the reduction of BDSA’s forecast in 2027 was the removal of the assumption for full commercial adult-launch in Germany, which had been assumed to begin in 2024 and forecast to reach nearly $3.6 billion in 2023,” Roy Bingham, CEO of BDSA, stated in an email.

The new forecast also includes lower than previously expected U.S. cannabis sales in the next four years, now at $43 billion by 2027, down from the earlier forecast of about $45 billion.

That revision is due to a “reassessment of several constituent markets and channels and their growth trajectory” based on 2023 sales figures, Bingham said, and “slower adult-use growth expectations in more mature markets, with some contribution from weakness in formerly strong medical markets.”

“High taxes, operational costs, and other issues in California have resulted in a difficult climate for legal cannabis businesses, several of whom have exited the market in the past year,” Bingham added, when asked about the Golden State in particular.

A bright spot, however, is Bingham said “in nearly all modeled markets, we show continually shrinking illicit spending versus continually growing legal spending,” which has been a long-term challenge for California and several other U.S. cannabis markets.

The U.S. is still expected to account for the overwhelming majority of state-sanctioned marijuana sales, according to the report, while the rest of the world will likely account for just $11.6 billion in 2027, about one-fifth of total legal cannabis commerce.

The primary driver of U.S. marijuana sales growth in the next four years, Bingham predicted, will be new markets, particularly on the East Coast and in the Midwest. The report singled out New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, and Missouri as markets with serious growth potential.

Bingham noted that New York and New Jersey alone are each expected to become $2.5 billion markets, and said Michigan – an “outlier” – is likely to hit $3.8 billion in sales by 2027.

The forecast isn’t all roses, however. Mature markets like California and Colorado “continue to face stagnating or declining sales,” Bingham said, but BDSA projected “modest growth” in California by 2025, with sales expected to top $5.2 billion in 2027. Colorado sales are “stabilizing” and expected to hit $1.6 billion this year after a decrease in 2022, before increasing minimally to $1.7 billion by 2027.

North of the border, Canadian legal cannabis sales are projected to jump by 9% this year to $4.6 billion, and could reach $5.3 billion within four years.

The rest of the world will only account for about $2.4 billion in sales in 2023, BDSA projected, but that will skyrocket to $6.3 billion by 2027. The top international markets aside from Canada will be Mexico, with $1.5 billion in sales by 2027, and Germany, which is still in the midst of rolling out an adult-use cannabis pilot program.

John Schroyer

John Schroyer has been a reporter since 2006, initially with a focus on politics, and covered the 2012 Colorado campaign to legalize marijuana. He has written about the cannabis industry specifically since 2014, after being on hand for the first-ever legal cannabis sales on New Year’s Day that year in Denver. John has covered subsequent marijuana market launches in California and Illinois, has written about every aspect of the marijuana trade, and was part of the team that built the cannabis industry’s first-ever trade show, MJBizCon. He joined Green Market Report in 2022.

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