GVR Report cover Australia Legal Cannabis Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Australia Legal Cannabis Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Product Type (Marijuana, Hemp), By Application (Medical Use, Industrial Use), And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Sep 2021
  • Report ID: GVR-4-68038-472-7
  • Number of Pages: 150
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019

Report Overview

The Australia legal cannabis market size was valued at USD 41.2 million in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.7% from 2021 to 2028. Increasing consumer awareness regarding health benefits offered by cannabis consumption along with the rising legalization of marijuana, majorly for medical purposes are the major factors driving the market. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in July 2020, 41.0% of Australians supported the legalization of cannabis in 2019. It was close to double the support registered during the survey conducted in 2007. In addition, an increase in demand for pain management therapies, owing to the growing disease burden and chronic pain across the country.

Australia legal cannabis market size, by product type, 2018 - 2028 (USD Million)

Increasing cases of opioid poisoning are expected to drive the demand for medical cannabis, which, in turn, is expected to increase the cultivation to meet the rising consumer demands. According to the data published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration in June 2020, around 14 emergency department admissions and 150 hospitalizations every day in the country involved issues about opioid use with three people dying from the harm caused by opioid poisoning.

In Australia, the legal framework revolving around medicinal cannabis is still evolving and remains closely regulated. In 2016, medical marijuana had been legalized at the federal level in Australia, and in September 2019, Australia’s capital Canberra became the first city for legalizing the personal cultivation and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes. However, recreational possession of marijuana still stands illegal at a federal level in the country. The new cannabis regulations passed by the Australian government enabled the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to possess and cultivate marijuana for adult use.

Cannabis legalization has been highly supported by Australia when compared to other Asia Pacific countries. For instance, the legalization of cannabis in Canberra allowed the possession of up to 50 grams of dried marijuana and the cultivation of two marijuana plants among residents over 18 years of age. Many other territories have further considered legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes following in the footsteps. It, in turn, is anticipated to positively contribute to the growth of the market for legal cannabis in Australia during the forecast period. Moreover, the growing number of companies operating in the legal medical marijuana market is further aiding overall growth. Various companies are listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), have applied for cultivation licenses, and are being acquired or funded by key players.

Increasing adoption of marijuana, majorly for medical purposes, is bolstering the overall market growth due to the increasing customer shift towards cannabis-based treatment from traditional modes of treatment. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the market for legal cannabis in Australia owing to the imposition of nationwide lockdown disrupting the product manufacturing and has posed import/export restrictions affecting the overall revenues. For instance, Cann Group Limited registered a decline of 72.5% in FY2020 as compared to FY2019, majorly due to government-imposed lockdown and supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

COVID19 Australia legal cannabis market impact: 19.4% decrease in revenue growth from 2019 to 2020

Pandemic Impact

Post COVID Outlook

The Australia legal cannabis market decreased by 19.4% from 2019 to 2020

  The market is estimated to witness a year-on-year growth ranges between 26% to 51 % in the next five years.

The pandemic has imposed pressures on supply chains on companies that have been importing products from outside Australia, particularly from Canada, with some outages of products.

An increase in the demand for “buy-local” movement during the pandemic has propelled the demand for locally produced cannabis products and is anticipated to drive the market growth post COVID-19.

Although the country registered a spike in the number of cannabis consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak, there has also been a significant price decline. This has led to the decrease in the market size in terms of revenue.

Rising cases of hospitalizations associated with opioid poisoning in the country is anticipated to drive the adoption of cannabis as an alternative to opioid in the coming years.


Furthermore, the increasing need for curbing the booming illicit drug market in the country is likely to support cannabis legalization. According to the data published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in July 2021, cannabis is one of the widely used illicit drugs in Australia with its usage increased between 10.4% in 2016 and 11.6% in 2018. It also stated that cannabis is easily obtained in the country, as reported by the participants in the Ecstasy and Related Drugs Reporting System (EDRS) and Illicit Drug Reporting System (IDRS). 50.0% of the national illicit drug seizures in 2018 were for cannabis. Therefore, the illicit channels through legalization can lose revenue as more consumers will switch to legitimate channels.

Product Type Insights

The hemp segment dominated the market for legal cannabis in Australia and accounted for the largest revenue share of 84.9% in 2020. The growth is attributed to the increasing incidences of diseases that include epilepsy and other sleep disorders along with the rising consumption of hemp-based products, including hemp CBD and supplements, due to their various health benefits. As per the data published by Epilepsy Action Australia, around 250,000 people are currently diagnosed with epilepsy in Australia. In addition, the rising adoption of these products for various industrial purposes and increasing demand for green buildings due to environmental pollution is further anticipated to propel the demand for hemp-based construction materials over the forecast period.

The marijuana segment is expected to register the fastest growth in the market for legal cannabis in Australia during the forecast period. The legalization of medical marijuana and its decriminalization in the country is anticipated to register a significant decline in the black market as people are transitioning towards legally purchasing marijuana products for medical use. Opportunities offered by cannabis legalization for increasing government earnings through taxation are further expected to bolster market growth. As per the article published by Guardian News and Media Limited in April 2018, legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes is anticipated to raise USD 3.6 billion in the Australian economy over four years from July 2019, based on 25% excise, as well as GST. Furthermore, a shift in customer preference for marijuana from medical to recreational purposes is anticipated to increase owing to low cost and easy access to marijuana across the country.

Application Insights

The industrial application segment dominated the Australia legal cannabis market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 83.2% in 2020. The growing demand for hemp fibers and oil in the construction, automotive, personal care, food and beverage, and textile industries is aiding segment growth. Rising demand for varnishes, oil paints, printing inks, solvents, fuel, putty, chain-saw lubricants, and coatings is expected to further propel the product demand. Consumers are increasingly adopting cannabis in various non-textile applications to reduce pollution, deforestation, and cut down the non-biodegradable waste that ends up in landfills. According to the article published by Rodale Institute, in November 2016, switching fossil fuel-based plastic with hemp can help in curbing the amount of plastic that enters the ocean as well as landfills, and reducing the exposure to toxic chemicals present in plastic. 

Australia legal cannabis market share, by application, 2020 (%)

The medical application segment is expected to register the fastest growth in the market for legal cannabis in Australia during the forecast period. It is attributed to rising awareness regarding health benefits offered by cannabis products and the support regarding medical cannabis usage from the Australian government. The Commonwealth Government and the State and Territory governments in Australia have passed regulations for easy access to medicinal cannabis products. The medical application was further segmented into sub-applications, such as anxiety, chronic pain, sleep disorder, and inflammation.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

The market for legal cannabis in Australia is dominated by many local and international players. The local companies are focusing on expanding their consumer base, geographic presence, and exports in the country. However, the international players are investing in local companies intending to strengthen their market positioning. For instance, in January 2021, Aurora Cannabis, Inc. announced a strategic agreement with MedReleaf Australia. The five-year supply agreement made MedReleaf act as an exclusive supplier of Aurora's CanniMed, MedReleaf, and Aurora brands in Australia. Some of the prominent players in the Australia legal cannabis market include:

  • Cann Group Ltd.

  • Zelira Therapeutics

  • AusCann Group Holdings Pty Ltd.

  • Bod Australia

  • THC Global Group Limited

  • Althea Group Holdings Limited

  • Ecofibre Limited

  • MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Australia Legal Cannabis Market Report Scope

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 51.8 million

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 375.7 million

Growth Rate

CAGR of 32.7% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

Revenue, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

Segments covered

Product type, application

Country scope


Key companies profiled

Cann Group Ltd; Zelira Therapeutics; AusCann Group Holdings Pty Ltd; Bod Australia; THC Global Group Limited; Althea Group Holdings Limited; Ecofibre Limited; MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Customization scope

Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope.

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at country level and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2016 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research, Inc. has segmented the Australia legal cannabis market report on the basis of product type and application:

  • Product Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Marijuana

      • Flower

      • Oil and Tinctures

    • Hemp

      • Hemp CBD

      • Supplements

      • Industrial Hemp

  • Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2016 - 2028)

    • Medical Use

      • Chronic Pain

      • Anxiety

      • Inflammation

      • Sleep Disorder

      • Others

    • Industrial Use

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