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The North America legal cannabis market reached a value of US$ 16 Billion in 2020. Cannabis is a drug derived from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant that grows in the tropical and temperate areas of the world. Also known as hash, weed, marijuana, pot, dope, smoke and cone, cannabis can be obtained in various forms ranging from the simple process of drying and curing marijuana flowers to the sophisticated chemistry of producing cannabis concentrates. In North America, the legal landscape is giving way to the decriminalization and full legalization of cannabis, owing to which it is gaining prominence for both medical and recreational purposes.
In the United States, marijuana has been legalized in 30 states for medicinal use and in 9 states for both therapeutic as well as recreational purposes. In Canada, medicinal usage of the drug has been legalized since 2001; however, its recreational use has been authorized through a bill passed in June 2018. This modification in the regulatory landscape has led to an increase in the usage of medical cannabis for treating several diseases associated with changing lifestyles such as chronic pain, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety, cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Also, with the implementation of these stringent regulations, suppliers have to comply with proper safety control measures and provide consumers with high-quality products, which further acts in favor of the growth of the market.
The use of industrial hemp, a product derived from cannabis, has also expanded to a great variety of products, including health foods, organic body care, clothing, construction materials, biofuels and plastic composites. Moreover, increasing research and development (R&D) activities in the medical applications of cannabis are expected to create positive opportunities for both the existing players and new entrants in the upcoming years. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the North America legal cannabis market to exhibit strong growth during the next five years.
Breakup by Product Derived:
Marijuana currently represents the leading segment. It is a greenish-grey mixture of the dried flowers of Cannabis sativa. The applications of marijuana are further divided on the basis of medical and recreational uses. Its therapeutic applications include the treatment of various diseases such as migraine, cancer, arthritis and others.
Breakup by Distribution Channel:
Among these, legal cannabis is mostly distributed through regulatory dispensaries.
Country-wise, the United States enjoys a leading position in the market as the medical use of cannabis has been legalized in 31 states including the territories of Puerto Rico and Guam, and the District of Columbia and in 9 states including California, Nevada, Alaska and Colorado for both medicinal and recreational uses.
The market is highly fragmented with the presence of numerous small and large manufacturers who compete in terms of prices and quality. Some of the leading players operating in the market are:
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