Will medical marijuana eventually out-sell recreational cannabis? If the present is an indicator, the answer could be “yes” in a few years.

The following is a re-post of an article written by Scott McGovern of Green Entrepreneur 

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Many assume the recreational marijuana market will surpass medical cannabis but there are many reasons to suspect they will be proved wrong. Medical marijuana could become the bigger of the two within a few years thanks to three factors.

Here’s what entrepreneurs should know about the difference between these two markets, and how the cannabis industry’s astronomical growth could evolve differently than one might expect.

The current state of the cannabis market.

Global cannabis sales reached a new high of $12.2 billion in 2018, up from $9.5 billion in 2017, according to a report by BDS Analytics. More than half of that was recreational. Some examples:

  • Colorado: Out of total revenue of almost $1.55 billion, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, only $332 million was medical cannabis.
  • California: Sales reached approximately $1.2 billion per state data, more than half of which was recreational.
  • Canada: Statistics Canada reported total sales for October through December reached $115 million USD. At the same time, the number of medical marijuana patients grew in Canada.

Sales in US states that have legalized weed appear to be moving away from medical cannabis and towards recreational, though this has not held true in Canada, though there are indications it will once the market matures and there is wider accessibility.

Related: Move Aside, CBD: New Data Finds THC Is the Real Medicine in Medical Marijuana 

In the U.S., the legalization of recreational weed has meant a corresponding decline or stagnation in medical cannabis sales. This makes sense for a few reasons. Depending on the state, obtaining a medical marijuana card can be complicated with few doctors willing to prescribe and applications, and medical marijuana patients sometimes must pay a fee.

In California, the biggest cannabis market to date, lenient laws created an artificially large medical marijuana market. Today, many of those patients are switching to recreational.

The rise of recreational weed has lead to some panic about the future of medical marijuana. Will producers entirely shift their focus away from medical marijuana and to focus on the hottest cannabis products like concentrates vapes, and other high-THC options? Will patients have access to the product they need for target-specific conditions, rather than get you high?

There are a few reasons why this will not happen.

CBD will be bigger than recreational weed.

The recreational market isn’t just booming because people want concentrated THC. In fact, the products with the biggest sales increase in 2018 were high in CBD. The growing interest in medicinal and medical cannabis is a strong indication CBD market will explode in the upcoming years.

CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is a compound in cannabis that does not produce a high. ThoughCBD is the second-most popular compound found in weed after THC, it can be found in hemp, too, which is non-psychoactive. This means that it cannot produce unwanted effects, by law.

CBD can address a variety of conditions ranging from the severe to the preventative according to a growing body of research and anecdotal evidence. These include both physical conditions including seizures, pain, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. CBD provides a much-needed, non-addictive alternative without negative side effects for pain management and epilepsy These conditions afflict millions of Americans who don’t yet use medical marijuana. The potential market is enormous for all-natural products that can address these ailments.

CBD edible sales grew astronomically in 2018. In one year alone CBD gummy sales went up 925 percent, sales of CBD chocolate market increased by 530 percent and CBD tincture, also known as cannabis oil, sales went up 111.5 percent.

This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.

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