Globally the cannabis industry is booming, and with Germany and Thailand the latest countries to give the green light on legalization, it doesn’t look like it's about to slow down anytime soon. Let’s take a look at how much it has grown, how it’s affected the landscape and what might be in store for the future of the cannabis industry.

Globally the legal cannabis industry pulled in $35 billion in 2022/23 according to leading cannabis data provider BDSA. However, this is scheduled to grow to $55 billion annually by 2027. This includes legal sales of both recreational and medicinal cannabis products.

CountryLegal Cannabis Industry Size (USD)
United States$24.6 billion (2021)
Canada$10.2 billion (2020)
Germany$6.7 billion (2021)
Australia$3.5 billion (2020)
United Kingdom$2.5 billion (2021)
Netherlands$1.8 billion (2020)
Spain$1.6 billion (2020)
France$1.4 billion (2021)
Italy$1.2 billion (2020)
Israel$1.1 billion (2020)
Switzerland$1.0 billion (2021)
Uruguay$0.6 billion (2020)
Mexico$0.3 billion (2020)
Argentina$0.2 billion (2021)
South Africa$0.1 billion (2020)

How many dispensaries are there in the US?

There are now over 15,000 cannabis dispensaries operating in the USA alone!

How much do dispensaries in the US make per day?

Cannabis dispensaries in the US make an average of $10,000 - $20,000 per day in revenue depending on where they are located.

How many medical marijuana patients are there in the US?

There are over 5.8 million registered medical marijuana patients in the United States. With population growth, stress, anxiety and depression on the rise this figure is likely to increase in the coming years.

How many dispensaries are there in Canada?

There are around 1,300 licensed cannabis dispensaries in Canada.

How much do dispensaries in Canada make per day?

Cannabis dispensaries in Canada make an average of $2,000 to $10,000 per day in revenue depending on where they are located.

How many dispensaries are there in Thailand?

In June 2022 Thailand’s government decided to make weed legal. Since then over 1 million people have registered for a license to grow cannabis and the government have issued over 12,000 licenses to dispensaries for the sale of marijuana.

How many countries have legalized cannabis?

Over 50 countries have legalized medical cannabis, with several others moving towards full legalization for both medical and recreational use, with Thailand (June 2022) and Germany (April 2024) the latest countries to fully legalize marijuana. This global trend towards legalization is expected to drive significant market growth in the coming years.

How big is the cannabis industry in Europe?

The cannabis industry in Europe is currently worth €5.7 billion annually but is expected to reach €6.6 billion by 2029. This growth is largely driven by Germany’s legalization.

How big is the cannabis industry in the US

Size of entire cannabis industry in the US compared to other industries:

IndustryAnnual Revenue (USD)Industry
Cannabis$40 billion16-20%
Pharmaceuticals$1 trillion4-5%
Fitness$100 billion3-4%
Alcoholic Beverages$250 billion2-3%
Tobacco$100 billion1-2%
Technology$500 - $900 billionVaries
Agriculture$400 billion2-3%
  • According to Yahoo Finance the legal cannabis industry in the US is on track to be worth $157 billion by 2030.
  • The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing markets and has the potential to catch up with several established industries in the US. Based on its current growth rates, it's projected that cannabis could catch up with the fitness industry by around 2035-2045.
  • As more and more consumers choose cannabis, the recreational market is growing rapidly in the US. With current growth rates the cannabis industry could also begin to challenge the dominance of the alcoholic beverages industry by 2030-2040

Cannabis industry employment statistics

How many people are employed in the cannabis industry in the US?

In the US, the legal cannabis industry employs over 428,000 full-time jobs, according to the latest available data.

Job Growth Rate

Since 2019 the number of cannabis-related jobs in the US have increased by 27%.

Average salaries for cannabis industry employees

  • Budtender/Dispensary Associate: Budtenders, who serve customers in dispensaries, earn an average hourly wage of $12 to $20.
  • Cultivation Technician: Cultivation technicians, responsible for growing and harvesting cannabis plants and can earn anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 annually.
  • Extraction Technician: Extraction technicians specialize at extracting cannabinoids and terpenes from plants and can earn around $40,000 to $80,000 annually.
  • Lab Technician: Lab technicians test flowers and other cannabis products for potency and purity and can earn between $40,000 and $80,000.
  • Retail Manager: Retail managers of dispensaries can earn anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Compliance Officer: Compliance officers are responsible making sure everyone else in the industry adheres to regulations and can earn from $60,000 to $100,000 annually.

Illegal cannabis industry size

What is the size of the illegal cannabis industry globally?

The illegal cannabis industry is estimated to be worth $50 to $60 billion annually, but could grow to over $100 billion by 2026/27.

Illegal cannabis industry size

CountryEstimated Size of Illegal Cannabis Industry (USD)
United States$35 - $45 billion
Canada$5 - $10 billion
Mexico$2 - $5 billion
Germany$5 - $8 billion
Australia$2 - $4 billion
United Kingdom$2 - $5 billion
Netherlands$1 - $3 billion
Spain$1 - $2 billion
France$1 - $3 billion
Thailand$1 - $2 billion
Brazil$5 - $10 billion
Argentina$0.5 - $1 billion
Colombia$2 - $5 billion
Chile$0.5 - $1 billion
South Africa$0.5 - $1 billion

Cannabis Industry Growth Predictions

Expected growth for cannabis industry globally 2025/26

According to Yahoo Finance the global cannabis industry is expected to continue its growth trajectory, with an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.2% between 2022 and 2032.

By 2032, the global legal cannabis market is on target to reach $198.83 billion, largely driven by legalization for both medical and recreational use in the USA, Germany and Thailand.

Expected growth for cannabis industry in the USA 2025/26

With more and more states going legal each year the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the cannabis industry in the US is around 16% between 2020 and 2025. By 2025/26, the legal cannabis market in the USA is on track to surpass $45 billion.

How much tax revenue are the government making from cannabis in the US?

In 2020, total tax revenue from cannabis in the US exceeded $3 billion.

Expected growth for cannabis industry in Europe

With Germany being the first of the European G7 countries to make cannabis fully legal, the cannabis industry is set for rapid growth in Europe in the coming years.

Estimates show that the European cannabis market could grow by around 30% per year. This would mean the total cannabis industry in Europe would grow to €7.5 billion by 2025/26.

How much tax could Germany take now that cannabis has been legalized?

According to a study conducted by the Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, by the German hemp association, the legalization of cannabis could add an additional €3.4 billion in additional tax revenue.

Cannabis usage statistics USA

Cannabis usage in the states has been consistently on the rise since 1969 with around 4% of adults having tried cannabis. Usage plateaued out between the 80's and early 2000's and since we have seen a steady climb with now 49% of adults now having tried cannabis.

How many people grow cannabis in the US

CountryEstimated Cannabis SmokersEstimated Cannabis Growers
United States50-60 million1-2 million (including legal and illegal growers)
Canada5-7 million200,000-300,000 (including legal growers)
Germany4-6 million100,000-200,000 (including legal and illegal growers)
United Kingdom3-5 million100,000-200,000 (including legal and illegal growers)
Australia2-4 million50,000-100,000 (including legal and illegal growers)

Cannabis usage by gender, age and race

In the US, 11% of men and 8% of women are regular cannabis users. Of this group, the 18-49 year olds consume the most with over 65's consuming the least. When it comes to race, the Hispanic and Latino adults consumed the most with 11% of them regularly consuming cannabis compared to 9% from Black and White adult communities.

rates of cannabis consumption by gender, race and age in a bar chart

Cannabis usage by household income in the US

Looking at the chart below you can see that cannabis usage is considerably higher among lower income households. 16% of people with a household income of less than $24,000 are regular cannabis users, whereas at the other end of the spectrum only 5% of people with a household income of over $180,000 use cannabis regularly.