Cannabis Industry Predictions: 2020-2025 | Cannabis Sector Market Growth

Research into Global Cannabis Market Growth & Related Job Growth Statistics. The Cannabis Industry Growth Predictions for 2020- 2025 are based on recent market growth statistics, export predictions, and cannabis industry research reports by experts in pharmaceutical production/exportation and global business analysts. Figures include tracking patient/consumer demand for quality medicinal marijuana products including various key markets such as the USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, South Africa, and other regions.

Cannabis Industry Growth Rate Reports including Export Markets and Consumer Demand

How fast will the worldwide medicinal cannabis market expand? Cannabis Industry Predictions 2020-2025

Research in the medical cannabis industry has revealed significant market growth rate statistics and high consumer demand. Investing briefs and Cannabis Market Reports indicate legal cannabis sales experienced over 40% growth rates in its earlier years, primarily fueled by high consumer demand for Cannabis in US markets.

2023 Update: Predictions for 2023 to 2030 indicate an expected CAGR of over 25%, as the market continues to mature.

2020-2025 Predictions: In 2020, analysts predicted that the global demand for cannabis (medical and recreational) would grow consistently at a growth rate of at least ~17% to ~23% per annum. These early estimates accounted for the fact that pharmaceutical cannabis production was an entirely new market, in nearly every country embracing the potentially lucrative industry.

Predictions also considered the fact that medical cannabis growth rates would be influenced by heavily regulated production processes, which are subject to changes and potentially long processing times for cannabis farming applications. Another key consideration for medicinal cannabis market growth predictions is the availability of alternative cannabis sources (adult-use cannabis products and illicit products, both often found tainted with contaminants and unsafe for patients, especially those with compromised immune systems).

These industry growth figures were extremely conservative estimates from most perspectives. Phenomenal industry growth rates are expected once the medicinal benefits of cannabis are further established by clinical research studies.

  • Market growth stems not only from newly available medicinal marijuana products; but from an entirely new cannabis user market worldwide.
  • As cannabis becomes legal to cultivate, possess, use and/or travel with on planes and standardised in dosage forms, more people may feel safer accessing and ‘consuming’ such products for a variety of medical conditions.
  • These conditions range from pain management to arthritis to anorexia, anxiety and depression; with anecdotal case studies suggesting a plethora of positive effects.

To date, however, the medical benefits of cannabis need to be more firmly established and side effects (direct effects) and safety risks further assessed.

That noted, many scientists believe current cannabis research studies (as well as strain development/cultivar R&D) will reveal new powerful treatment medications based on CBD or THC.


What current research is evaluating the medicinal benefits of cannabis and marijuana-based products?

Current research projects into the medicinal benefits of using cannabis or cannabinoid medicines will explore seizure control, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, mental health conditions (PTSD, anxiety and depression), pain management, opioid addiction, arthritis, anorexia and bulimia, skin conditions, fibromyalgia, and more.

For help with cannabis cultivation businesses needing to meet GACP/GMP standards, send an enquiry to PharmOut’s cannabis and GMP industry consultants.

Surplus or shortage? Medicinal Cannabis in the USA

Some states in the US have noted shortages in view of demand (Pennsylvania’s shortage of medicinal cannabis supplies, for example). Several PA dispensaries noted they experienced a medicinal cannabis shortage as patient demand exceeded supply in the state of Pennsylvania USA.  

Other regions and states noted a surplus and cost pressures, but medicinal cannabis demand and supply comes down to the laws and to what’s being produced — and how. Does the product meet stringent standards for medicinal cannabis production?

  • These fluctuations typically involve crops that do not meet the high-quality standards required for medicinal cannabis, which remains in strong demand around the world
  • But these supply/demand issues can also relate to legality differences and distribution/transportation restrictions, which impede the transfer of cannabis goods from state to state or from country to country.
  • Examples: non-saleable cannabis/contaminated cannabis being produced; OR varying federal/state cannabis laws that prohibit cannabis sales across State borders or into international markets.

Read why unapproved medicinal cannabis product costs are relatively high when compared with medications already listed on public health schemes and how some USA cannabis distributors are getting warning letters from the FDA.

What funding is available for medical marijuana and cannabis production research?

The cannabis research industry is expected to grow rapidly through an influx of Government research funding into cannabinoid medicines or exportation projects.

Governments have a vested interest in the production of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis for medicinal purposes. They are expected to invest significant health care research funds into University-led projects, ideally with participation from numerous institutes across many countries (think Harvard, Stanford, Berkley, Oxford, Cambridge and more).

Philanthropic funding will also support University research in neuroscience and bio-medicine in relation to cannabinoids.

Philanthropic Donations to Harvard University (Neuro-Science and Biomedicine)

For example, Charles Broderick, an Alumni of MIT and Harvard, recently donated $9 million to MIT and Harvard to proceed with medicinal cannabis research. These types of donations are expected to increase over time, particularly as the baby boomer generation faces conditions related to aging, including cancer progression, dementia and arthritis, and other currently incurable health conditions.

Exploring the medicinal benefits of medical marijuana [pharmaceutical grade cannabis products] will be one of the most sought-after funding proposals to Ethics committees. Researchers will be keen to enhance their careers as well as drive phenomenal changes in health care, and patented medical formulations will be in high demand.

Who can help you start your medicinal cannabis business?

PharmOut’s cannabis consultants can assist you with licensing applications, medicinal marijuana processing and regulatory requirements for GMP / EU GMP (PIC/S).

Our pharmaceutical facility design architects, cleanroom validation, testing and processing engineers are experts in assisting cultivators and medicinal cannabis manufacturers with environmentally-minded designs for efficiency and GMP compliance. Contact PharmOut with your enquiry or view the medicinal cannabis cultivation support pages.

Education in Pharmaceutical Cannabis Cultivation and GMP

Including 1-Day Masterclass training course for Regulatory overviews of the cannabis sector in Australia.

Evidence Base on Cannabis Treatments for PTSD

Systematic Reviews of Cannabis Medical Benefits, Safety, Patient Risks/Potential Harms

Most current medicinal cannabis studies will need at least 3 to 5 years to present initial findings. Many Universities are hampered by difficulty getting licenses, permits, ethics approval and steady sources of consistent, pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products.

The evidence base needs greater establishment through double-blind clinical studies into the medicinal benefits and risks of cannabis-based medicines.

This is another area where licensing, GMP expertise, sterile cannabis production facilities and secure exportation are required.

The reporting of serious adverse effects (W.H.O. SAE reporting) and dosage estimates are also needing guidance from experts in pharmaceutical herbal medicines and plant cultivation experts.

Baby Boomers and Millennials helping drive cannabis growth markets and medicinal use

Part of the expected growth surges in cannabis market sectors stem from an ageing baby boomer society already familiar with cannabis effects since their university days, and Millennials embracing the freedoms of cannabis use in the way the baby boomers embraced fluid relationships in the sixties and seventies. Additionally, as worldwide cannabis legalisation changes continue to occur, it is not surprising that some market analysts predict three-figure growth rates for medical marijuana markets and cannabis-derivative product sales.

Frequently Asked Questions about Market Growth Predictions in the Medicinal Cannabis Industry

Where will cannabis market growth be greatest?

  • The USA is expected to remain the largest consumer base for cannabis
  • Increasing demand for cannabis is expected to continue as more States and countries legalise the cultivation, possession and use of marijuana
  • Growth is expected in both medicinal and recreational cannabis sales figures

What percentage of cannabis use is medicinal versus recreational?

Statistics for Medical vs Recreational Cannabis Use.

  • It is estimated that up to 65-68% of recent cannabis purchases in the USA was for recreational purposes and up to 32~35% was for medicinal purposes
  • This ratio is subject to fluctuations and reporting biases, however, and will vary as the cannabis market evolves
  • When the evidence-base for the medical benefits of cannabis are validated by long-term studies, combined with “pharmaceutical grade pot” becoming more accessible, the ratio of recreational vs medical use could change

Growth in the Medicinal Cannabis Sector

As more countries legalize the use of marijuana products for recreational and/or medicinal purposes, the market demand for pharmaceutical-grade cannabis could expand exponentially. This is the reason many experts are estimating we will see far higher growth in the cannabis cultivation, processing and exportation sector. The next regions expected to see significant rises in GNP and GDP related to medical cannabis cultivation and exportation include Europe, Australia, Macedonia and South Africa.

New investors who lack GMP understandings, agricultural cultivation and pharmaceutical exportation experience are cautioned to become more informed about the regulatory requirements for exporting medical-grade cannabis around the world.

This includes learning about plant architectural and engineering requirements, cannabis personnel training needs and OHS requirements, facility and exportation licensing, good manufacturing processes (GMP), record keeping, costing and market price fluctuations and other regulatory/security requirements involved in cultivating, supplying and exporting medical-grade cannabis around the world.


Cannabis Business Predictions in Australia Markets (2020-2024)

Australia is one of the countries poised to become one of the largest exporters of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis over the next few years.

The Australian government and Health Ministers have indicated Australia seeks a major role in medical-grade cannabis cultivation, pharmaceutical marijuana production and exportation.

Although sometimes plagued by bushfires, drought conditions and floods, the overall climate and geography of Australia – including widely available land for growing new agricultural crops for exportation – places Australia in a very unique position and we expect to see Austalia a leader in GMP cannabis production in the Australia-New Zealand and Oceanic regions. The Australian cannabis market is expected to exceed $1 billion by 2024.

  • A recent Business News article estimated Australia is anticipated to grow to become the 5th largest medicinal cannabis producer and exporter in the worldwide market.  Forbes articles also suggest Australia is poised for lucrative cannabis sector growth rates.

The Australian cannabis exportation market growth is expected to reach over $1.2 billion in the next five years.  Several market analysts suggest that figure is extremely conservative.

  • Presently, the Australian cannabis growth market is in its relative infancy.
  • That noted, there are few trained experts in medical-grade cannabis cultivation and exportation.
  • It is expected the cannabis market will create at least 10,000 new jobs, mostly related to cannabis cultivation, processing and exportation, in Australia (2019-2024).

Cannabis Job Statistics and Newly Created Job Statistics

In the USA, there are over 200,000 individuals employed directly in the cannabis cultivation and production industry. In Australia, over 10,000 new jobs are expected to be created in the medicinal cannabis production and exportation industry over the next few years.

What is the Global Growth Rate of Medicinal or Recreational Cannabis (worldwide demand)?

  • The overall cannabis market sector is predicted to reach over $55 billion USD by 2024 according to global cannabis reports and market research by Global Market Insights. 
  • Recreational cannabis use remains illegal in many jurisdictions including in most states in the USA and around the world
  • Depending on when and how the laws change in terms of recreational vs medicinal use, individuals will likely move towards requesting medical validation (cannabis prescriptions) to avoid criminal penalties
  • Some individuals will also prefer to purchase a standardized cannabis product with predictable dosage levels
  • GMP and sterility for pharmaceutical cannabis will be extremely important for the safety of patients with suppressed immune systems due to cancer treatments, HIV/AIDS, Lupus, MS and other conditions

Which countries are currently dominating the medicinal cannabis sector?

  • Currently, Canada, the USA, Germany and Israel are current leaders in the global marketplace for cannabis cultivation and production.
  • The USA’s population is the largest consumer base for medicinal and recreational cannabis.

Global demand for cannabis is rising

  • Cannabis demand worldwide is rising as more people hear of the drug’s potential benefits in view of managing arthritis, skin conditions, chronic pain, seizures, epilepsy, anxiety and PTSD as well as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
  • While currently a third of cannabis sales are reported as being for medicinal purposes, we suspect this includes reporting bias and will change as pharmaceutical-grade cannabis products become more available or more readily prescribed.

Governments and health researchers are currently evaluating health, safety and effectiveness of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Medical research data paucity and rapid market growth has created numerous challenges for Government policy decision marker. Expect to see delays around medical marijuana distribution outlets, crop growing licenses and exportation policies. Yet most Governments are keen to participate in the burgeoning global market growth and many are in ‘fear of missing out’.

The paucity of long-term cross-sectional studies of the medical benefits of cannabis and marijuana-derivatives and supplements, potential side effects and precision dosing requirements, may slow down government policies and public health system administration of medical cannabis in many regions around the world. Fortunately, the lure of a lucrative market that would increase jobs and Gross National Production income is a major incentive to governments around the world; leading to some of the fastest legalisation processes we’ve seen relating to pharmaceutical production.

This noted, the inconsistency of new regulations and federal vs state laws, as well as international differences in legalisation standards, has left some investors fearing the inherent business chaos that could follow.


Investor Considerations for the Cannabis Exportation Market

Market growth of the cannabis industry has grown exponentially since the legalization [or partial decriminalization] of medical marijuana / cannabis sativa expands across the world. The global impact of this newly sanctioned drug trade is unprecedented. The positive upsides of this new market segment include new business start-ups and jobs specialties, along with standardization of products and THC levels with unexplored potential benefits to public health (as well as potential side effects and dosing investigation requirements).

For more on considerations for investing in cannabis growing business start-ups, read our upcoming publication about licensing requirements, safety, security and financial risks in pharmaceutical-grade cannabis exportation businesses.  Visit our contact page to receive information on the licensing, GMP requirements and registration processes for cultivating and exporting medicinal cannabis products or pharmaceuticals.

Cannabis Business GMP and Licencing Experts

If you are needing GMP training or facility architecture and engineering designs for your new cannabis business start-up, please contact one of our expert consultants in GMP requirements and pharmaceutical manufacturing regulations and licensing.

References and Journal Publications:

Legal Medicinal or Recreational Cannabis Industry

Legislation Hurdles around Medicinal Cannabis and Exportation

Forbes article on Cannabis Market Growth Predictions 

Lee, Calla (2018) Black Market to Blue Chip: The Futures of the Cannabis Industry in Canada.


Page last updated: July 29, 2019. CM