High Times: A 2018 Year In Review For The Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry continued to climb in 2018 in terms of regulation, sales, jobs, and investments, pointing out the possibility for economic benefits. We've compiled some major highs and lows in the industry in 2018 to give you a transparent outline of the direction the industry is headed. Jobs are up, stocks are down–detailing a solid road ahead for 2019.
2018 Cannabis Highlights by Numbers
Nearly $2 billion
With CBD sales in the U.S. are expected to reach $534 million in 2018, growing to nearly $2 billion by 2022.
More Than 30 Countries
The global cannabis market is expanding rapidly, with Canada having joined Uruguay as the first countries to legalize adult-use markets; more than 30 countries have some form of legal cannabis.
In 2018, the number of plant-touching jobs in cannabis (not including hemp) reached 259,000 – on pace to surpass 500,000 jobs by 2022.
Total U.S. sales of legalized adult-use and medical cannabis is expected to reach $10.4 billion in 2018, and reach $26.3 billion by 2025.
Investment in the North American cannabis industry during 2018 reached $10.1 billion before cigarette-maker Altria Group’s $1.8 billion buy-in this month for Canada-based Cronos Group.
Hemp is being cultivated for commercial purposes or research in nearly four dozen countries.
With $15.5 billion being spent in the U.S. throughout 2018 for prescription drugs to address chronic pain, pain medication spending is expected to increase by 13% from 2016-2019, versus an 11% decrease in spending by U.S. medical cannabis markets compared to non-legal markets.
Despite winners among individual companies, 2018 saw a -15.05% overall decline in U.S. cannabis stocks (Source: WeedEx U.S. Market Tracker, from Jan. 1-Dec. 7, 2018).
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