Legal Marijuana Market Size, Share & Trends Report

Legal Marijuana Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Marijuana Type (Medical, Adult Use), By Product Type (Flower, Oil), By Medical Application (Chronic Pain, Mental Disorders), And Segment Forecasts, 2021 - 2028

  • Published Date: Mar, 2021
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2020
  • Report ID: GVR-2-68038-152-8
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2016 - 2019
  • Number of Pages: 100

Report Overview

The global legal marijuana market size was valued at USD 24.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% from 2021 to 2028. One of the major factors fueling the market growth is the expanding demand for legal marijuana owing to the growing number of legal cannabis countries. Owing to the recent legalizations in different countries, the use of medical marijuana for various aliments is gaining momentum worldwide. Patients suffering from chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson's, cancer, Alzheimer's, and many neurological disorders, are administered medical marijuana. The demand for cannabis oil is increasing rapidly, especially among countries with legalized medical marijuana. Recent novel food ruling in Europe will further strengthen the growth of CBD isolates in the coming years. Moreover, children consuming cannabis are being prescribed with oil only, as it has shown tremendous benefits for the treatment of disorders, like epilepsy. In Feb 2021, Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills for the legalization of recreational cannabis for adults 21 years and older in New Jersey, the U.S. This is further expected to boost the market potential in the coming few months.

U.S. legal marijuana market size, by product type, 2016 - 2028 (USD Billion)

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the supply chain management of cannabis products. Due to the strict lockdowns across the globe, the supply of cannabis in dispensaries has reduced. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the export business. The disruption in the supply chain caused due to lockdowns in major countries has affected import as well as export business. However, the number of patients adopting cannabis as a treatment is likely to increase due to the growth in the prevalence of medical conditions that require marijuana as a treatment. In December 2020, the European Commission resumed novel food applications for edible CBD products.

The demand for legal marijuana is expected to surge rapidly due to changes in government policies. Several new startups are venturing into R&D, cannabis testing, and manufacturing. In Canada, many provinces are looking forward to the privatization of cannabis retail stores. Many provinces that chose a single supplier are now inviting applications from multiple suppliers. These factors are anticipated to drive the market over the forecast period.

There has been a significant increase in the number of cannabis cultivators in the U.S. as the government is now accepting more applications for cannabis cultivators. In addition, the number of applications for which cannabis is prescribed is increasing. This is expected to increase cannabis sales, and thereby open new revenue channels for market players. Furthermore, the anticipated federal-level legalization of medical marijuana in the U.S. will only help this market to witness high growth opportunities in legal medical consumption.

Marijuana Type Insights

The adult-use segment dominated the market with a revenue share of 60.3% in 2020 and is expected to witness significant growth from 2021 to 2028. The legalization of cannabis for adult use is one of the major factors driving the demand for legal marijuana. The industry has seen a dynamic change from patients opting to use marijuana for adult use rather than medicinal uses in countries, such as Canada and the U.S., where cannabis for adult use has been legalized. This can be due to its low prices and fast availability. This change in pattern is very evident in nations where reimbursement for medical marijuana is not available.

The medical segment is expected to grow at a steady rate over the forecast period. High awareness about the medical benefits of cannabis, surging demand for plant-based treatments in pain management, and increasing legalization of cannabis for medical purposes are some of the key factors driving the segment. In recent years, several countries have legalized medical marijuana; however, its prescription is dependent on the physician’s choice and the patient’s demand. As the number of countries legalizing medical marijuana is increasing, the market is expected to witness lucrative growth over the forecast period.

Product Type Insights

The flower segment dominated the market in 2020 with a revenue share of 65.8%. Cannabis flower is the primary plant product and is used in the manufacturing of various marijuana extracts, such as edibles and oils. Thus, the legalization of recreational marijuana and the increasing usage of cannabis in countries like the U.S., Canada, Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile, are driving the segment.

In addition, the perception of cannabis and its derivatives’ benefits is reasonably strong. The drug stores themselves educate individuals in Canada about the benefits and side effects of smoking marijuana and the reasonable limits of the human body. Thus, the rising awareness of the benefits of cannabis would boost the demand for the flower segment.

The oil segment is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. Oils extracted from cannabis are used for the treatment of cancer-induced nausea and vomiting. The cannabinoids present in the oil help to improve sleep disorders and alleviate stress and anxiety. The demand for cannabis oils is anticipated to increase over the forecast period as there has been a substantial increase in the number of patients preferring oil as compared to flowers. Moreover, children are not allowed to smoke marijuana due to its potential harmful components that give rise to respiratory problems.

Medical Application Insights

The chronic pain segment dominated the market in 2020 with a share of 44.8%. The different types of chronic pain include neurogenic pain, arthritis pain, cancer pain, low back pain, headache, neck pain, and face pain. The use of medical marijuana is reported to alleviate pain. With an increasing number of people becoming aware of the benefits of cannabis consumption, the market is expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period.

Global legal marijuana market share, by medical application, 2020 (%)

The mental disorders segment is expected to emerge as the fastest-growing segment over the forecast period owing to the high number of people suffering from various mental disorders. There has been an increase in the adoption of cannabis and its products among patients suffering from mental disorders, such as anxiety, owing to their antipsychotic effect on the nervous system. Anxiety is expected to be effectively treated by cannabis-based products owing to their high therapeutic benefits. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America in 2021, around 18.1% of the total population in the U.S. suffers from anxiety disorders each year, and the number is growing at a significant pace.

Regional Insights

North America dominated the market with a revenue share of 91.1% in 2020. The growth of the regional market has been supported by enlightened government regulations and the legalization of marijuana for medical as well as adult (recreational) use, partially in the U.S. and Canada. The presence of key marijuana cultivators and manufacturers in the region, the legalization of marijuana for adult use, increasing retail sales, and geographical expansion of retail stores are some other factors driving the regional market.

Other promising markets for marijuana are Australia, the U.K., Mexico, Germany, Colombia, and Israel. These countries have started indigenous production, and therefore these countries are secondary markets expected to become viable in the coming years. Furthermore, the market demand is expected to surge rapidly due to changes in government policies. Several new startups are venturing in the research & development and manufacturing of cannabis. The number of applications for which marijuana is prescribed is expected to increase, thereby opening up new revenue channels for the players in various countries. This eventually is expected to influence the growth of the market.

Key Companies & Market Share Insights

Marijuana products provide various medical benefits to the users, which has increased their adoption for the treatment of various chronic conditions. Hence, they are gaining traction within a short time. Moreover, competition in the global market is high because companies are focused on increasing their product offerings, entering new markets, and gaining new consumers.

The market is expanding at a rapid pace as a large number of European and Asian countries have legalized the medical use of marijuana. The first movers in the market are expected to capitalize by increasing their regional presence and consolidating their market share. Various regulatory, quality, & pricing norms are also impacting cross-border trade. Some prominent players in the global legal marijuana market include:

  •  Canopy Growth Corporation

  •  Aurora Cannabis

  •  Aphria, Inc.

  •  Tilray

  •  ABcann Medicinals, Inc.

  •  The Cronos Group

  •  Maricann Group, Inc.

  •  Organigram Holding, Inc.

  •  Lexaria Corp.

Legal Marijuana Market Report Scope 

Report Attribute


Market size value in 2021

USD 33.1 billion

Revenue forecast in 2028

USD 84.0 billion

Growth Rate

CAGR of 14.3% from 2021 to 2028

Base year for estimation


Historical data

2016 - 2019

Forecast period

2021 - 2028

Quantitative units

Revenue in USD million/billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028

Report coverage

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

Segments covered

Marijuana type, product type, medical application, region

Regional scope

North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA

Country scope

U.S.; Canada; U.K.; Germany; Italy; Netherlands; Croatia; Poland; Czech Republic; Switzerland; Spain; Australia; New Zealand; Thailand; Uruguay; Colombia; Mexico; Chile; Argentina; Israel

Key companies profiled

Canopy Growth Corporation; Aurora Cannabis; Aphria, Inc.; Tilray; ABcann Medicinals, Inc.; The Cronos Group; Maricann Group, Inc.; Organigram Holding, Inc.; Lexaria Corp.

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Segments Covered in the Report

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

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

    • Medical

    • Adult Use

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

    • Flower

    • Oil

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

    • Chronic Pain

    • Mental Disorders

    • Cancer

    • Others

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

    • U.S.

    • Canada

    • U.K.

    • Germany

    • Italy

    • Netherlands

    • Croatia

    • Poland

    • Czech Republic

    • Switzerland

    • Spain

    • Australia

    • New Zealand

    • Thailand

    • Uruguay

    • Colombia

    • Mexico

    • Chile

    • Argentina

    • Israel

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