newark delaware

How Big Is Delaware’s Legal Medical Cannabis Industry?

Lawmakers in Delaware first legalized cannabis for medical use back in 2011. In May 2024, Democratic Gov. John Carney signed HB 285 into law expanding medical cannabis access. Suffering patients in Delaware can now qualify for legal medical cannabis if their doctor recommends it regardless of the condition. Also, seniors can now self certify as medical cannabis patients.

Last year, Delaware approved adult-use cannabis legalization, including retail sales. Legal recreational cannabis sales are expected to launch in Delaware in the spring of 2025.

As of fall 2023, Delaware’s medical cannabis program had roughly 29,000 patients enrolled, and six different companies currently operate 12 licensed medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. In 2023, Delaware’s legal medical cannabis industry sold over $53.8 million worth of medical cannabis products.

“This included smokable flower sales of $28.3M, which represents 2,625,742.04 grams (5,788.8 pounds) at an average price of $10.80 per gram. Smokable flower was the most popular marijuana product type, making up 52.3% of purchases, followed by inhalable products at 29.2%, edible products like gummies and baked goods were 13.6% and topicals and tinctures were 4.9% of sales.” the Delaware Office of the Marijuana Commissioner stated in a 2023 report.

In 2023, Delaware’s medical cannabis patients “spent an average of $3,303 per year on marijuana products” according to the 2023 report.

“When that is compared to the conservative, projected adult use recreational purchase population of 85,000 the estimated annual sales would be $281M with potential tax revenues of $42M.” the report also stated.

Total legal cannabis sales in the United States are expected to reach $31.4 billion in 2024 according to a recent analysis by Whitney Economics. Additionally, leading cannabis jobs platform Vangst, in conjunction with Whitney Economics, estimates that the legal cannabis industry now supports 440,445 full time-equivalent cannabis jobs in the United States.

Whitney Economics also projects the following legal cannabis sales figures in the United States for the coming years:

  • 2024: $31.4 billion (9.1% growth from 2023)
  • 2025: $35.2 billion (12.1% growth from 2024)
  • 2030: $67.2 billion
  • 2035: $87.0 billion

The emerging legal cannabis industry in the United States is projected to add roughly $112 billion to the nation’s economy in 2024 according to a newly released analysis by MJBiz Daily. The projection is part of the company’s 2024 MJBiz Factbook.

“The total U.S. economic impact generated by regulated marijuana sales could top $112.4 billion in 2024, about 12% more than last year,” MJBiz stated in its initial reporting.

The United States adult-use cannabis industry has generated over $20 billion in total tax revenue since the first legal recreational cannabis purchase was made in Colorado on January 1st, 2014 according to a new report by the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Through the first quarter of 2024, states have reported a combined total of more than $20 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales. In 2023 alone, legalization states generated more than $4 billion in cannabis tax revenue from adult-use sales, which is the most revenue generated by cannabis sales in a single year.” the Marijuana Policy project stated in a press release.