|In May, Alabama became the 36th state to legalize medical cannabis, marking the second “Deep South” state to do so.|
Akerna data analyzed the average retail sales history of current legal medical-only marijuana markets and then compared those figures to Alabama’s population. Based on the study, Alabama is projected to retail around $48 million in its first full year of medical sales, about $163 million in the second year, and approximately $387 million in the third year of legal medical cannabis sales.
It was a widely shared expectation that all southern-region states, many of which have long been led by conservative politicians, would never legalize cannabis at any level. However, recent legislative moves have proved otherwise. For example, Louisiana has a medical program, Virginia recently legalized adult use, medical licensing is underway in Georgia, and medical bills are being worked on in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Kentucky.
If the remaining southern-region states were to fully legalize medical marijuana, they would see the following retail sales trajectory:
|State||Population|| Year 1 Sales|| Year 2 Sales|| Year 3 Sales||Total Sales in First 3 Years|
|State with medical-only cannabis||13,002,700||$ 126,488,281.42||$ 422,631,126.48||$ 1,004,044,705.50||$ 1,553,164,113.40|
|AL||5,024,279||$ 48,875,419.42||$ 163,305,828.29||$ 387,965,632.44||$ 600,146,880.15|
|GA*||10,711,908||$ 104,203,806.41||$ 348,172,744.49||$ 827,153,938.27||$ 1,279,530,489.18|
|KY||4,505,836||$ 43,832,085.03||$ 146,454,701.29||$ 347,932,412.47||$ 538,219,198.79|
|LA*||4,657,757||$ 45,309,949.33||$ 151,392,640.59||$ 359,663,474.15||$ 556,366,064.07|
|MS||2,961,279||$ 28,806,870.23||$ 96,251,446.21||$ 228,664,546.71||$ 353,722,863.14|
|NC||10,439,388||$ 101,552,773.44||$ 339,314,935.38||$ 806,110,442.45||$ 1,246,978,151.27|
|SC||5,118,425||$ 49,791,257.34||$ 166,365,887.36||$ 395,235,414.32||$ 611,392,559.02|
|TN||6,910,840||$ 67,227,596.94||$ 224,625,354.28||$ 533,642,421.39||$ 825,495,372.61|
|TX||29,145,505||$ 283,523,025.11||$ 947,326,140.72||$ 2,250,562,574.26||$ 3,481,411,740.09|
|WV*||1,793,716||$ 17,448,995.53||$ 58,301,753.76||$ 138,507,467.91||$ 214,258,217.20|
|* Indicates state with current limited medical program|
Virginia, which recently legalized adult-use cannabis, is projected to see over $109 million in their first year, $364 million in their second, and $866 million in their third, totaling over $1.3 billion in projected cannabis retail sales. Florida has had a full medical market for over three years and was omitted from the report.
“States across the US are realizing the massive economic impact that legalizing medical marijuana would have on their local economy,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect at Akerna. “With so much movement happening in the south, we compared states in that region with other legal medical-only markets to uncover the potential retail sales of cannabis. The history of other markets and our data reports show that cannabis has the potential to be a major cash crop in regions of the US that are historically leaders in agriculture and farming.”
Cannabis sales in other medical markets have consistently shown year-over-year growth, likely due to more medical licenses, increased retail access, and decreased stigma around the medical use of cannabis.
About MJ Freeway
MJ Freeway is more than software as a service. Its flagship solution, MJ Platform, includes Platform Insights. Now operators, investors, and regulators can access the industry’s largest and most statistically relevant database to drive data-driven business decisions.
Platform Insights provides:
- The greatest statistical relevance across countries
- Normalized data (not farmed from various disparate POS platforms)
- Full cannabis supply chain data
- Business insights founded in category management methodology
Platform Insights can eliminate the guesswork and provide answers to questions like:
- What is the gross margin return on inventory?
- What SKUs should be carried?
- How do basket adjacencies influence discounting and retention strategies?
- What does a medical market look like a year or five years after decriminalizing cannabis?
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