News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 13, 2021: A global pandemic is bound to create permanent changes, but many were surprised at just how much COVID-19 impacted the herbal industry. The year saw a record-breaking high in sales, as more people turned to cannabis to cope with stress during stay-at-home orders. The sudden rise in consumption has yet to taper off, and industry experts predict higher numbers as more and more states push toward legalization.
The increase in revenue isn’t the only way COVID-19 has changed the industry. Mary Jane has passed several milestones that are bound to stick around long term.
Although the most significant profit increases occurred in North America, Latin America and Europe also saw their cannabis markets impacted. In Brazil, where officials recently loosened restrictions on herb, cannabis businesses are investing in expanding brand development to reach an international audience. Apart from selling Mary Jane, Latin America as a whole has become a large producer of the herb because of its climate.
At the beginning of the pandemic, dispensaries shut down like all other businesses. But within months, the industry was deemed essential and opened its doors to an even broader base of consumers. Retailers like MJ Arsenal and specialized shops saw a steady increase in revenue that has persisted through the pandemic. The industry’s ability to function in-person and through e-commerce turned the heads of investors, who then poured even more into the growing market.
Of course, there was also a massive rise in Mary Jane sales across the country. California has the largest market in the U.S., and in 2020 alone, cannabis-related revenue topped $800 million. The opportunity to collect taxes from herbal sales is catching the eye of states where legalization efforts have yet to take root. Arizona is the latest to join the 18 other states that have legalized the herb. The Grand Canyon State passed legislation in late 2020 with a 16% tax on all sales that are used toward community services.
While consumption of cannabis in America saw a boom, other countries followed suit. In Canada, smoke shops and dispensaries were deemed essential business and permitted to stay open. Half of Canadian smokers increased their consumption during the pandemic, and revenue from sales skyrocketed.
The consequences of COVID-19 have been felt across the globe, but the cannabis industry is one of the few that saw positive impacts. With several countries deeming dispensaries essential, many reached for their lighters when faced with trying times.
Following the rise in sales, investors worldwide saw the green market differently. The industry’s ability to survive and thrive during a period of such uncertainty has undoubtedly solidified its place as one of the top markets of our time. By 2026, the global cannabis industry is expected to be valued at $90 billion, and there is no doubt the pandemic has played a large part in that.