The deployment of the legal cannabis industry is often compared to that of well-known brands such as Mac Donalds or Starbucks. A report by the analysis firm ArcView estimated in 2017 that legal and illegal cannabis sales exceeded those of Mac Donalds and Starbucks combined.
It now appears that legal cannabis sales in the United States have exceeded the coffee giant’s North American sales by at least a third, according to the MJBiz Factbook 2022.
This is despite the fact that coffee can be sold in all 50 US states while only 39 states and the District of Columbia have legalized at least one use of cannabis.
Growth in favor of cannabis
The cannabis industry enjoyed greater growth than Starbucks between 2020 and 2021. Where Starbuck’s annual revenue in North America grew 25% in fiscal 2021, the Cannabis industry saw sales jump 30% over the same period to $27 billion.
The report states, “As the flower continues to dominate legal sales nationwide, non-combustible products may represent an innovative and potentially more socially acceptable way for consumers to enjoy one of their favorite plants. For potential consumers considering trying cannabis, non-combustible products represent a lower barrier to entry. These products are more closely related to products that individuals often already enjoy. »
The report also compares cannabis revenues to those of other major revenue-generating sectors, such as cigarettes, over-the-counter drugs, opioids or salty snacks. While cigarettes and over-the-counter drugs, with $52.8 billion and $36.5 billion respectively, exceed legal cannabis sales in 2021, their growth is weaker. 2021 was nevertheless the first year in 20 years that cigarette sales increased in the United States.
Cannabis sales will continue to outpace Starbucks for years to come, not least because of a huge untapped market. In the 11 US states where cannabis is still not legal live more than 20% of the country’s total population. Legalization efforts in these countries would be a boon, which Starbucks will struggle to keep up with.
So who will be the next weed Starbucks?