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How Much Does Legal Cannabis Cost In The United States In 2024?

Currently, 24 states in the U.S. have adopted adult-use cannabis legalization measures, with all but one of them (Virginia) incorporating regulated cannabis sales as part of their legalization models. Cannabis remains prohibited at the federal level in the United States.

The first states to adopt recreational cannabis legalization measures were Colorado and Washington during the 2012 election. The first legal recreational cannabis sale/purchase in U.S. history occurred in Denver, Colorado on January 1st, 2014. Washington’s first legal sale occurred in July 2014.

Prices for legal cannabis vary widely within the United States’ legal markets, with a recent analysis by Newsweek determining that the “average price of high-quality marijuana in the U.S. is $318.72 per ounce, according to the Price of Weed index.”

“Data from global price index site shows the average cost of high-quality cannabis ranges significantly across the U.S., reflecting the diverse legal landscapes and market conditions in different states. For instance, consumers in California pay an average of $300 per ounce, while prices in Oregon are closer to $210 per ounce. In the nation’s capital, weed is nearly $600 per ounce on average.” Newsweek stated.

“Price of Weed’s global index data is based on submissions and the averages are corrected for outliers based on standard deviation from the mean. Data submitted for the U.S. ranges from 2022 to this year.” Newsweek also stated.

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 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.

79% of people living in the United States lived in a county with at least one regulated cannabis dispensary according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. The Pew Research Center also found the following:

  • 74% of people in the U.S. live in a state where recreational or medical cannabis is legal
  • There are nearly 15,000 cannabis dispensaries in the U.S.
  • California has the most overall dispensaries (3,659)
  • Oklahoma has the most dispensaries per capita (36 dispensaries for every 100,000 residents)

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 an 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.