U.S. cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals market size 2020-2029 projection

On the assumption that the federal prohibition on cannabis ends by 2020, the value of the consumer market for cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals in the United States is forecast to grow to 25 billion U.S. dollars in 2025 and be worth 50 billion U.S. dollars in 2029.

The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids

Cannabis – also known as marijuana – contains active ingredients called cannabinoids. The second-most abundant cannabinoid found in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical substance that is considered to have a broad range of medical benefits. Clinical trials to test the effects of cannabis-based drugs are ongoing, but potential treatments have been identified for cancer pain, glaucoma, and epilepsy. Annual sales of CBD products in the United States were expected to generate around three million U.S. dollars in 2019, with sales from the state of California contributing a 25 percent share.

Medical marijuana laws by state

In 1996, California became the first state in the United States to allow the medical use of cannabis. As of 2018, the market for medical marijuana in the United States had grown to 33 states and Washington D.C. – the state of Oklahoma had the fastest-growing medical marijuana market in the country. More states may loosen their marijuana laws over the next few years, but for the time being, cannabis remains federally illegal in the United States.

Projected cannabinoid-based pharmaceuticals market size in the U.S. from 2020 to 2029 (in billion U.S. dollars)*

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Release date

February 2016


United States

Survey time period

as of 2016

Supplementary notes

* Estimates assume an end to federal prohibition in the year 2020.

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