Global legal cannabis spending is forecast to reach $47 billion in 2025, according to industry analyst BDSA (formerly BDS Analytics). That’s a value too big to ignore for many companies and industries. The U.S. will continue to be the largest global market, driven by more and more adult use cannabis markets opening.
Much of that demand will be driven by the increasing consumption of cannabinoid ingestibles like gummies or beverages, what many consider the least intimidating and easiest to consume of CBD and cannabis-related products. Why? Because buyers are already familiar with them – without the CBD-hemp ingredients.
With the combination of more states enacting regulations allowing cannabis for medical and/or recreational use, and CBD products derived from hemp increasingly available in mainstream retail channels, consumers are growing more educated about cannabis.
Today, more than 80% of the U.S. population agrees with some form of legalization, BDSA said in a statement, and that number is growing. Additionally, acceptance of cannabis is growing, with nearly 70% of adults 21 and older living in fully legal states identifying as cannabis consumers or as being open to consuming.
With increasing acceptance, cannabis consumers no longer match the “stoner” stereotype, as they cross generations, genders, socio-economic status, income and beyond. As cannabis consumers diversify, reasons for consumption now run the gamut including:
- physician-guided medical treatment
- anxiety reduction
- relaxation and recreation
- general wellness
According to BDSA partner, IRI Worldwide, consumers think of food and beverage as a wellness aid and/or as medicine. Given this, it is not surprising for consumers to seek the functional benefits of cannabinoids, both THC and CBD, from an edible format. There is comfort in consuming cannabis in a familiar format, whether candy, chocolate, beverage or baked good.
- More than 70% of cannabis consumers in fully legal states consume edibles, and many non-consumers are open to trying cannabis via edible products.
- Edibles account for around 15% of sales in dispensaries, driven by gummies.
- As with non-infused food and beverages, taste and flavor are the top influencers of edible product purchases.
With global legal cannabis spending forecast to grow 217% by 2025, BDSA offers that this may be a market too big to ignore.