Around 147 million people worldwide have used cannabis. That’s about 2.5% of the world’s population consuming cannabis products annually.
In the US, over 94 million people have used cannabis at least once in their lifetime.
The massive crowd of cannabis consumers is unsurprising for a thriving global industry worth $20.47 billion in 2020.
Read on for more eye-opening cannabis statistics on usage, industry growth, legal updates, product trends, employment, etc.
- 16% of Americans consume cannabis
- 89.5% of users consume cannabis recreationally.
- 14% of Americans use CBD (cannabidiol).
- 88% of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis.
- ⅔ favor the release of imprisoned people for cannabis-related offenses.
- 21.9% use cannabis for stress.
- California is the largest cannabis market garnering $5.3 billion in revenue.
- Cannabis retail sales will be worth $52 billion by the end of 2026.
- Most people spend their money on flowers at $98 per individual.
- Israel uses cannabis the most, with 27% of the population.
Cannabis Statistics Overview
Currently, 33 states have legalized marijuana as an alternative medicinal option, while 23 states, including Washington D.C., legalized it for recreational use.
As more states consider legalizing the plant and its products, the cannabis industry is projected to grow as huge as $444.34 billion in 2030.
Alcohol still reigns supreme in usage over cannabis. In 2019, 140 million people drank alcohol, while only 50 million people were reported to have consumed weed.
However, there seems to be a shift in acceptance rate in households where marijuana is perceived to be more wholesome.
This and more significant cannabis statistics will be discussed in the article.
Cannabis Use Statistics
In this section, you’ll find some of the most important and common statistics about cannabis usage:
1. 16% of American adults currently consume cannabis.
This stat shows that 55 million American adults 35 to 54 currently use marijuana for both recreational and medical purposes.
Meanwhile, 52% of Americans, or 78 million people, say they’ve tried cannabis at least once, and most say their experience has been pleasant.
2. 89.5% of cannabis users consume the plant for recreational purposes.
The primary intention behind cannabis usage is recreation. Only 10.5 of adult cannabis users utilize the plant for medical use. Meanwhile, 36.1% use cannabis for both medical and recreational use.
Cannabis, in history, was first discovered in the context of therapy. However, through the years, pop culture has always primarily associated it with recreational use.
3. Young adults are more likely to use cannabis over tobacco at 11% vs. 3%.
In 2018, there has been a 5% increase among young adults in the use of cannabis. In the same year, there has been a decline in the number of tobacco users among the same age group.
While this stat doesn’t indicate an overall decline in tobacco use, it’s an interesting figure that signals the acceptance of cannabis over the historically popular tobacco.
4. 14% of Americans use CBD (cannabidiol).
About 1 in 7 American adults use CBD products. Additionally, the highest percentage of usage, about 20%, came from the age group 18-29.
Among those surveyed, 50% don’t use CBD, while 35% said they are unfamiliar with the cannabis compound.
Cannabis Acceptance Statistics
Through the years, cannabis has been received well and, sometimes, with indifference. In this section, gauge the overall impression of people (user and non-user) of cannabis with the following statistics.
5. 88% of Americans favor legalizing cannabis in 2022.
An overwhelming number of Americans are in favor of legalizing cannabis. Among those in favor, 59% said they want cannabis legalized for recreational and medical use.
Meanwhile, 30% only want cannabis legalized for medical use. Only 10% of the respondents said that cannabis should not be legalized.
There has been an upscale on the side of favoring the legalization of cannabis in the last decade.
6. 60% to 85% of Americans support medical cannabis if prescribed by a doctor.
This polling, tracked since 1998, shows an overwhelming percentage of the general population that favors the legalization of cannabis for medical use.
This figure is further corroborated by a 2016 poll by Quinnipiac. In their poll, 89 percent of respondents support using cannabis for medical purposes.
It’s important to note that these figures are true as long as a health professional prescribes cannabis.
7. Alcohol VS Weed Statistics: 72% of Americans think alcohol has more health risks than cannabis.
More than half of Americans will choose cannabis over alcohol if only the former enjoys the same legal freedom as the latter.
Additionally, people believe alcohol is 25% more dangerous than cannabis.
8. 67% of people believe cannabis has less harmful effects than prescription painkillers.
While it’s true that cannabis has fewer identifiable risks than using alcohol and prescription drugs, long-term overuse of the plant is still discouraged.
9. At least 56% of Americans treat the use of cannabis as socially acceptable.
Regardless of whether they support the use of cannabis or not, the majority of Americans think cannabis use is now socially acceptable.
74% of people who have tried cannabis think its use is now cool. Additionally, the majority of users say they won’t judge if doctors, clergymen, etc., use cannabis.
Cannabis Legalizing Updates Statistics
Find eye-opening numbers about cannabis legalization, from Colorado legal weed statistics to nationwide trends.
10. In Colorado, the number of arrests in cannabis-related incidents decreased by 68%.
In 2019, there were only 4,290 cannabis-related arrests in Colorado. This is a huge decline from 2012’s 13,225 case arrests.
The vast difference in arrests was mostly due to a large decrease in possession and sales charges.
11. The arrest number of black Coloradans for cannabis-related cases is twice that of White Coloradans.
Despite the declining rate of cannabis-related incidents among races and ethnicities, Colorado recorded 160 per 100,000 Black arrests.
This is a far cry from White Coloradans arrest records which has a frequency rate of 76 per 100,000 individuals.
12. Democrats, at 73%, are more likely to favor the legalization of cannabis than Republicans, at 45%.
Democrat-leaning individuals consider cannabis normal by social standards. In contrast, Republicans specifically dislike the idea of using cannabis medically.
Republicans believe prescription drugs are the best option over unverified therapeutic plants.
13. ⅔ of adults favor the release of people imprisoned for cannabis-related offenses.
In a 2021 survey, researchers found that Americans support relaxing penalties for cannabis-related convictions.
Additionally, 61% approve the removal of cannabis-related offenses from criminal records.
14. 48% of Americans now live in states where recreational cannabis is legalized.
Nearly half of the nation’s population now live in jurisdictions where using cannabis for recreational purposes is normal.
This figure is boosted by the 21 states that legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
Meanwhile, 26% of the nation’s states still consider the adult use of cannabis illegal.
Cannabis Medicinal Statistics
Cannabis use for medicinal purposes is an ongoing conversation in the US.
38 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for medical use. More states are expected to follow suit.
Read on to find more interesting statistics on the use of cannabis for medical purposes.
15. The typical medical cannabis-seeking patient is in his early 30s.
A survey of 4,000 patients seeking to use cannabis medically in California showed that the average medical cannabis-seeking patient has the following characteristics:
- White Male
- In his early 30s
- Started using cannabis in his teenage years
- Has fewer disabilities than the national average.
16. There are 4 most qualifying ailments for the medical use of cannabis.
4 of these most-qualifying ailments for the approved use of cannabis are cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and glaucoma.
Also, seizures of all kinds lead as the most mentioned in state laws drafted regarding the medical use of cannabis.
17. The medical cannabis market is expected to reach $12.92 billion in 2023.
Medical cannabis market’s annual growth rate of 13.84% led to this $12.92 billion projection for 2028. Additionally, most of the market’s revenue will come from the US at US$11,320.00 million in 2023.
Each person is contributing US$0.36k in medical cannabis sales in 2023.
18. In 2015, 17% of adult cannabis users consumed the plant for medical reasons.
A third of people who use cannabis medically endorse the use of cannabis daily. Meanwhile, women are more likely to use cannabis medically than men.
19. 21.9% of cannabis users cited stress as the reason why they take medical cannabis.
Cannabis customers primarily use the plant to ease stress. 21.5% of consumers consume cannabis to manage their mental health.
Other popular reasons for cannabis’s medical use are for fun (17.2%), sleep (12.2%), and productivity (9.5%).
Cannabis Industry Statistics
It’s an exciting time for the cannabis market. Sales have exploded for the past five years, and new milestones are set yearly.
Below are the updated cannabis industry statistics you need to know to learn how big of an industry it is today.
20. The cannabis industry added about $100 billion to the US economy in 2022.
The addition to the economy is a 20% increase from 2021. The industry is also expected to add to the 2026 economy by about $155 billion.
For every consumer spending $10 on cannabis products, $18 will be added to the local economy level.
As an industry with a somewhat unique structure, cannabis incorporates the big three: agricultural, manufacturing, and retail movements.
21. California’s cannabis sales of $5.3 billion makes it the largest cannabis market in the world.
The largest annual sale in the history of cannabis happened in California in 2022. This was twice as high as California cannabis sales in 2018.
22. Cannabis retail sale is poised to be more than $52 billion by the end of 2026.
New cannabis markets will drive the annual cannabis sale in 2026.
For example, in 2022, New Jersey and New York joined the states where cannabis is legal. These states are populous, representing approximately 22 million adults.
23. Cannabis sales soared at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Americans spent over $18 billion on cannabis products at the beginning of 2020 – the start of the pandemic. This number sale is a 71% increase from 2019’s starting sale.
There was a temporary panic buying phenomenon during the start of the global pandemic. People were hoarding what they thought was essential, including cannabis products.
24. Oklahoma had the most number of dispensaries in the US, at 2,246 dispensaries in 2022.
Add to the 2,246 dispensaries, Oklahoma now has 7,787 growers and 1,582 processors licensed.
The explosion of cannabis activity in the area drove a significant boost in the $80M per year state’s sales tax revenue.
Cannabis Statistics on Product Trends
See what the public prefers and doesn’t care about in the forms of cannabis products in the following statistics.
25. 20% of cannabis shoppers’ decisions are influenced by mood-specific labeling.
Mood-specific labeling or need-based marking continues to be one of the biggest guides for customers in their shopping decisions.
25% of cannabis sales are from products that print specific benefits on their packaging.
26. Cannabis consumers spend most on flowers at $98.
Most cannabis customers spend most of their cannabis money on flowers. Second to flowers is vapes at $92. Trailing behind are topicals ($57) and pre-rolls ($38).
Vape sales hit $2.6 billion in retail sales in 2021 and have a 28% year-over-year growth.
27. 37% of cannabis consumers think taste and flavor are big factors in shopping decisions.
The second-most influential cannabis shopping decision is the concentration of THC (delta 9) in the product. Third is the affordability of the product.
28. Edibles are growing in sales and will take up 15% of the cannabis market in 2025.
Gummies continue to rule the cannabis edibles market. It’s taking up 60% of the first-quarter edible sales.
Chocolate is the most popular flavor representing about 13% of edibles sales. Hard candy, taffy, and caramels make up 8% while cannabis beverages only represent 6%, and pills at 8%.
29. 51% of cannabis consumers want to try newer, innovative cannabis products.
More than half of cannabis consumers would like to try new types of cannabis products. The majority of consumers are under the age of 35.
Cannabis Employment Demand Statistics
Here are the latest statistics on how the cannabis industry supports the workforce.
30. The US cannabis industry housed 428,059 full-time jobs in 2022.
As of January 2022, the U.S. cannabis industry supported 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs, representing a 33% increase in just one year. (Leafly – Jobs Report 2022)
31. The cannabis industry created 280 jobs every day in 2021.
This means the legal cannabis industry hired one worker every 2 minutes in 2021. There were 107,059 new cannabis-related jobs in 2021.
It was the first year that the cannabis industry hit job creation at six figures. Today, there were more cannabis workers than dentists.
32. Cannabis jobs in manufacturing and extraction had a 4% salary increase in 2021.
Aside from the growing number of specialized jobs in the cannabis industry, salaries for directors of operations have risen to 4%.
Cannabis extraction tech roles like quality control and equipment maintenance have also increased salaries by 3-4%.
33. California employs the most cannabis employees, supporting 83,607 jobs in 2021.
California’s cannabis retail sale of $5.1 billion in 2021 prompted the industry to employ more, adding 21,000 jobs in the same year.
Californians working in the cannabis space are about to eclipse cops and lawyers.
Cannabis Statistics by Year
Here’s a summary of cannabis statistics by year to help you grasp how its usage rate has evolved through the years.
34. In 2021, there were four occasions where cannabis peaked in sales.
Aside from the informal cannabis holiday 4/20, Green Wednesday, Memorial Day weekend, Valentine’s Day, and New Year’s Eve garnered the highest cannabis sales in 2021.
35. The first recorded prevalence of cannabis use was in the 1970s.
The peak of cannabis use was first recorded in 1976 when 37% of high school seniors in America used cannabis.
The first recorded decline in cannabis use was in the 1980s until 1992. However, the plateau didn’t last long. The prevalence of cannabis use among seniors doubled in 1997.
36. There has been a steady rise in cannabis users from 2007 to 2014.
Since 2007, there has been a steady annual rise of cannabis users until 2014, at a 45% increase.
Also, in 2015, cannabis’s popularity has significantly risen over the past decade.
Some of the best guesswork on why this phenomenon happened was attributed to lowered prices, the proliferation of cannabis laws, the pop-up of dispensaries, and the shifting public perception.
Cannabis Statistics by Country
Cannabis’s usage and legal statuses vary from country to country. Here, you’ll find astonishing statistics that show a country’s attitude, regulations, and usage trends on cannabis.
37. 27% of Israel’s population consumed cannabis in 2020.
This figure makes Israel the nation with the highest cannabis use worldwide in 2020. In the US, cannabis use in the population is only 17%.
38. In Europe, Czechia had the highest cannabis use number at 11.1% of the population in 2020.
France follows Czechia closely at 11%. Meanwhile, Malta had the lowest prevalence of cannabis use at only 0.9% of the population.
While many Europeans consume cannabis products, legal cannabis sales in Europe are small. North America largely dominated this.
39. Only 15.5% of Europeans aged 15-34 that tried cannabis in 2021.
Despite European’s progressive view on cannabis use, 84.55% of its young demographic haven’t tried using cannabis.
Of its 15.5% active young adult consumers, males at 19.5% dominate the usage scene.
40. 6.8% of Australian cannabis users utilize the plant for its medicinal properties.
Australian cannabis users for dual purposes (medical and non-medical) is higher at 16.8%.
Of those who have used the plant for medical purposes, only 1.8% have obtained them with a prescription. Most source them from a friend or a dealer.