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Cannabis retail sales to surpass $33.5B in 2023, topping chocolate, eggs and craft beer

Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As more and more states make medical and recreational cannabis legal, the drug’s retail sales numbers are hitting new heights.

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A new report from MJBiz, a Colorado-based business news outlet for professionals in the recreational and medical cannabis industry, forecasts marijuana sales will top $33.5 billion this year, a $4 billion increase from 2022. And by 2028, the industry is poised to see sales of just shy of $57 billion.

To put this year’s numbers in perspective, cannabis sales are set to top the amount of money spent in the U.S. this year on craft beer, chocolate, chicken eggs, and topical pain relief, respectively. The study also puts weed sales numbers just a bit higher than the opioids market.

Pot might not be the consumer curiosity it was when the legalization effort began, but there’s a steady market for the product. MJBiz reports the number of licensed U.S. marijuana businesses will exceed 165,000 this year.

In terms of total economic impact, the numbers are even higher. The report estimates the marijuana industry injected $90 billion into the overall economy last year. This year, it says, that will jump to $100.8 billion. And by 2028, it expects that figure to jump to $170.7 billion.

While flower, the industry term for the dried flower bud that is typically ground up and smoked (a.k.a. bud), remains popular, other products, such as vapes, edibles, and tinctures have collectively edged it out of the industry’s top spot. The report says flower sales now account for just 40% of overall marijuana sales in the U.S.

Not all the news is good, though. The economic crunch that has hurt startup funding in other industries is affecting the weed business as well. Cannabis capital raises last year declined by more than 60% YOY. And 2022’s retail sales figure of $30 billion came in $3 billion short of what MJBiz had expected in last year’s report.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

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