75 Cannabis Stats You Need to Know Before Opening a Dispensary

Thinking about diving into the world of cannabis dispensary ownership? Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a newcomer to the industry, arming yourself with the right knowledge is essential. Here are 75 eye-opening facts about cannabis categorized to provide a comprehensive understanding of the cannabis dispensary landscape.

Industry Growth and Demand

  1. The legal cannabis market is projected to reach revenues of $102.2 billion by 2030.1
  2. Worldwide legal cannabis markets are expected to achieve total sales of $36.7 billion in 2023, with the U.S. market making up 80% of that figure.2
  3. Cannabis products have gained popularity for their potential natural wellness benefits with nearly 90% of Americans being in favor of continued legalization.3
  4. The cannabis industry is actively engaged in seeking improved sustainable and eco-friendly methods.3
  5. As the cannabis industry has grown in America, it has increased jobs by 33% in only one year, adding more than 100,000 new jobs from 2021-2022.4
  6. The trend of boutique or high-end dispensaries is on the rise, offering a unique shopping experience.3
Cannabis flower in a clear baggie.

Consumer Behavior Facts About Cannabis

  1. Half of all Americans say they have tried cannabis in their lifetime and 17% say they are current consumers of the product.5
  2. 29% of cannabis consumers are below the age of thirty-four.5
  3. Men are only slightly more likely to consume cannabis than women, with 19% of men saying they use cannabis products as opposed to 14% of women.5
  4. Nine out of ten adult Americans believe cannabis should be legalized for either recreational or medical use.6

Facts About Cannabis Plants

  1. The most potent THC buds are produced by female cannabis plants rather than their male counterparts. Regular seeds give a 50/50 chance of producing male or female plants, giving way to a market for feminized seeds.7
  2. It is believed that cannabis was first discovered as early as 10,000 BC in Central Asia. By about 8000-7000 BC, it was being used to weave fabric and by 6000 BC, it was being consumed as a food ingredient in China.8
  3. Morocco is the largest producer of cannabis in the world, dedicating roughly 57,000 hectares (140,850 acres) to cultivation.9
  4. It takes between four and eight months to grow a cannabis plant to full maturity, depending on conditions and method of cultivation.10
  5. Legalization and standardization of cannabis products provide improved health benefits for conditions that range from chronic pain to cancer.11
  6. Though many modern-day celebrities are open about cannabis use, it might surprise you to know that at least 12 historical figures, including James Monroe, Christopher Columbus, and George Washington, were known to use cannabis.12
A map of Morocco, the largest producer of cannabis in the world.

Cannabis Laws and Legislation

  1. Medical cannabis is now legal in 38 U.S. states (plus three territories and the District of Columbia) and recreational use of cannabis is now legal in 23 U.S. states (plus two territories and the District of Columbia).13
  2. Cannabis sales are currently legal in 48 countries, plus some U.S. States and territories. Recently, Germany has also introduced legislation to allow for legal sales of cannabis.14
  3. Michigan has the most expensive licensing fees, with application fees starting at $6,000.15
  4. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to legalize cannabis, though it had been decriminalized there since 1974.16
  5. California was the first U.S. state to legalize cannabis in 1995 when it first allowed medical cannabis to be sold.17
  6. Dispensaries in legal states are subject to extensive regulations covering everything from product testing to security measures.18
  7. Seed-to-sale tracking systems are mandatory in many legal states to monitor the entire cannabis supply chain.19
  8. States with legal cannabis have seen a decrease in opioid-related deaths by as much as 33%.20
  9. Eighteen U.S. states are expected to legalize cannabis over the next decade. If all are successful, 96% of Americans will be legally able to purchase cannabis in their state.21
A map of the United States, highlighting which states have legalized marijuana.

Cannabis Dispensary Operations

  1. The cost of opening a cannabis dispensary in the United States can range from $150,000 to $2 million.22
  2. The average U.S. dispensary generates annual profits between $100,000 and $1.2 million.23
  3. In the U.S., 55% of dispensary employees have received some formal training while 20% have received specific medical training.24
  4. 94% of dispensary employees indicate that they provide cannabis advice to customers.24
  5. 60% of dispensary employees are employed for less than two months, with 40% retaining their jobs for less than a month according to data from Washington and Colorado states.25
  6. It costs, on average, about $4,000 to advertise, review, screen, interview, and perform the background check for a new cannabis dispensary employee.26
  7. Each time an employee doesn’t work out, the overall cost to a dispensary is about 30% of their salary, costing an average of $14,900 for each failed hire when all costs of hiring, training, and separation are tallied.26
  8. It costs about five times more to bring in a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer but increasing customer retention by as little as 5% can boost profits by as much as 95%.27
  9. Inventory management is a critical challenge for dispensaries, requiring effective tracking and restocking strategies.28
  10. Quality staff training and compliance software can save you 40 hours a week of work and up to 3% per year on labor costs.29
  11. Sourcing high-quality and consistent products from reliable suppliers can be a hurdle for dispensaries.30
The interior of a well-stocked dispensary.

Product and Inventory

  1. While pre-rolled flower has gained a slight increase in popularity in 2023 among cannabis users below the age of 34, it has dropped off in popularity among older age groups.31
  2. The global cannabis extract market is expected to grow from $3.6 billion in 2022 to $23.1 billion in 2032.32
  3. Edibles are increasing in popularity due to standardization. 2023 statistics show that 25% of cannabis users prefer edibles to flower, a rise of 3% over 2022 levels.31
  4. The profit margin for cannabis products can be as high as 92% for edibles and 76% for flower in some markets.33
  5. Flower is the most popular product among seasoned cannabis users, making up about 59% of sales, but there is a growing market for edibles among newer cannabis consumers.33
  6. It is commonly accepted that Indica strains are relaxing, Sativa strains are energizing, and hybrid strains have a combination of both effects depending on the mix.34
A variety of cannabis products, including cannabis oil, flower, and edibles.

Cannabis Marketing and Branding Stats

  1. The cannabis industry's advertising options are limited due to federal restrictions, leading to creative marketing strategies.35
  2. Fifty percent of Twitch users are between 18 and 29, making it a great platform for marketing to the 21-29 age group. Their age verification process and ESRB ratings help get cannabis advertising to the right demographic.36
  3. Influencer marketing in the cannabis industry has grown significantly, with Instagram influencers driving brand visibility.37
  4. In February 2023 (Twitter, now known as X) became the first social media platform to allow advertising for legal cannabis sales outlets.38
Stylized X logo, the first social media platform to allow cannabis advertisements.

Health and Safety Facts About Cannabis

  1. Cannabis use disorder, an inability to cease using cannabis despite health or personal factors, affects about 5.8% of people who use cannabis, according to 2021 data.39
  2. There is no indication that the presence of cannabis dispensaries is increasing usage among non-eligible users such as teens.40
  3. The two most common reasons cited by Americans for cannabis use are general mental health management (21.5%) and stress relief (21.9%).21 

Security Measures

  1. Dispensaries are vulnerable to theft and burglary, leading to the need for advanced security systems.41
  2. The key security regulations required for a dispensary include features like video surveillance, alarm systems, and restricted access areas.41
A security camera inside a cannabis dispensary.

Community Impact Facts About Cannabis

  1. Many legal cannabis states allocate tax revenue to education, healthcare, and social programs.40
  2. Social equity programs aim to address the disproportionate impact of the War on Drugs on marginalized communities.42
  3. Some legal cannabis states, such as California, Colorado, Connecticut, and  Maryland, have implemented automatic expungement of past cannabis-related convictions.40
  4. Cannabis cultivation has a significant environmental footprint due to energy-intensive indoor growing methods.43
  5. Some dispensaries are adopting sustainable practices, such as using renewable energy and eco-friendly packaging.43

Cannabis Tourism

  1. States with legal cannabis, have experienced a boost in cannabis tourism, making it a $17 billion a year enterprise.3
  2. Cannabis-themed tours and experiences have become popular attractions in some legal states.3
  3. Social consumption lounges that offer a controlled and regulated environment for cannabis use are the next wave of the cannabis boom, addressing the challenge of public consumption.44
  4. Only one state, California, currently has consumption lounges available, but other states will begin to follow suit as new laws are passed.44
A woman on her phone is smoking on the patio of a cannabis consumption lounge.

Cannabis Banking and Financial Services

  1. Due to federal prohibition, most banks are still reluctant to provide financial services to cannabis businesses.45
  2. Some cannabis businesses resort to cash-only transactions, which poses security and logistical challenges.45
  3. Venture capital investment in the cannabis industry reached $2.6 billion in 2018, indicating growing interest from investors.46
  4. Cannabis companies face challenges in securing traditional funding due to federal prohibition.46
  5. Cannabis dispensary owners can expect an average gross profit margin of 10-30%.22
  6. The typical cannabis dispensary’s revenue will land between $3,269,718 and $4,195,992 annually.22
A dispensary owner is taking cash out at a bank that allows cannabis businesses.

Research and Medical Applications

  1. Research on the medical benefits of cannabis is ongoing, with potential applications for pain management, epilepsy, and more.47
  2. The FDA has approved cannabis-derived medications, such as Epidiolex for epilepsy.47

Cannabis Product Testing and Quality Control

  1. Third-party testing of cannabis products ensures accurate labeling, potency, and consumer safety.48
  2. Testing regulations vary by state, with some requiring rigorous testing for pesticides, heavy metals, and contaminants.48

Cannabis on College Campuses

  1. Some colleges and universities offer courses and programs related to cannabis cultivation, business, and science.49
  2. Despite state legalization, many educational institutions still maintain strict anti-cannabis policies.49
Cannabis cultivation students are walking on a college campus.

Cannabis Delivery Services

  1. Cannabis delivery services are becoming more popular, allowing customers to receive products at their doorstep. Regulations for cannabis delivery vary widely by state, with some allowing it and others prohibiting it.50

Cannabis in Sports

  1. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its list of prohibited substances for athletes.51
  2. THC remains prohibited by WADA due to its potential performance-enhancing effects.51

That's a Wrap on Our Cannabis Industry Stats

Opening a cannabis dispensary requires careful planning and adherence to regulations. These 75 facts about cannabis provide a comprehensive overview of the industry, helping you make informed decisions as you embark on your journey into the world of cannabis entrepreneurship.

Sources:

1. Legal Marijuana Market Report Scope by Grand View Research

2. U.S. Legal Cannabis Market Sales to Soar to 45 Billion in 2027 by Forbes

3. 10 Cannabis Industry Trends Driving Growth and Innovation by Silver Leaf

4. Leafly Jobs Report by Leafly

5. Fully Half of Americans Have Tried Marijuana by Gallup Polls

6. 7 Facts about Americans and Marijuana by Pew Research

7. Male Vs Female Marijuana Plants by Yahoo Finance

8. History of Cannabis/Marijuana by Tony Dagostino Consultancy

9. The Most Cannabis Producing Countries in the World by Pev Grow

10. The Stages of Cannabis Growth by Clean Leaf

11. Health Benefits of Cannabis by Forbes

12. 12 Historical Figures Who Smoked Marijuana by Leafwell

13. State Medical Cannabis Laws by National Conference of State Legislatures

14. Countries Where Weed is Legal by Green Health Docs

15. Breakdown of Application, Licensing, and Renewal Fees in Adult-Use States by MPP

16. Marijuana: Made in Uruguay by Wilson Center

17. Where Marijuana is Legal in the United States by MJ Biz Daily

18. State Cannabis Policy Enactment Database by NCSL

19. What is Seed to Sale Software and Why is it Important by KayaPush

20. Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population by JAMA Network

21. Cannabis Industry Statistics 2023: Where the Industry Stands by New Perspective

22. Are Dispensaries Profitable? A Startup Guide for New Dispensaries by Projection Hub

23. Are Dispensaries Profitable? A Startup Guide for New Dispensaries by Projection Hub

24. Training and Practices of Cannabis Dispensary Staff by NIH

25. As a Leader, You’re in the Business of Talent. That Means Your Top Priority Should Be Your People by The Cannabis Industry

26. Costs of a Bad Hire in the Cannabis Industry by Cannabiz Team

27. How to Increase Customer Retention and Build Loyalty at Your Dispensary by Flowhub

28. The Best Tech Stack for Your Dispensary by KayaPush

29. Dispensary Staff Hiring, Training, and Compliance: The Ultimate Guide by KayaPush

30. Product Sourcing for Dispensaries by Dispense App

31. Edibles are Gaining Ground as Consumers Look for Standardized Dosing and Ease of Use by New Frontier Data

32. Cannabis Extract Market by The Brainy Insights

33. 5 Cannabis Products to Sell at Your Dispensary by KayaPush

34. Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid Strains: Understanding the differences between weed types by Leafly

35. Creative Cannabis Marketing Strategies by Herb

36. Navigating Cannabis Social Media Marketing by KayaPush

37. Social Guidelines for Cannabis Marketers by The Cannabis Industry

38. Twitter Is The First Major Social Media Platform to Expressly Allow Cannabis Advertising by Ad Law Access

39. What is the scope of cannabis (marijuana) use in the United States? by NIH

40. Societal Impacts of Cannabis Dispensaries/Retailers by Norml

41. Dispensary Security Guide by Flowhub

42. Legalizing and Regulating Marijuana the Right Way by Drug Policy Alliance

43. New Data on the Environmental Impact of Cannabis Cultivation by Cannabis Science Tech

44. The State of Cannabis Consumption Lounges in 2023 by MJ Freeway

45. Committee Blog: Four Tips for Cannabis Businesses to Maintain Cannabis Friendly Financial Services by The Cannabis Industry

46. Cannabis Venture Capital In 2023: Here’s What Unfolding by AlphaRoot

47. What are the Medical Benefits of Cannabis by Medical News Today

48. What Are the Cannabis Testing Regulations in Your State by CEM

49. Marijuana Use on Campus Grew as Legalization Spread by Inside Higher Ed

50. Marijuana Delivery Service Tips by Flowhub

51. WADA Executive Committee Approves 2023 Prohibited List by WADA

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