With five statewide and a host of local legalization propositions on the ballot, cannabis reform had mixed results in the midterm elections. What then were the highs, lows or results of the election overall? For Roy Bingham, CEO and co-founder of BDSA, a balance of the midterm elections should start by weighing the different population sizes of the states where marijuana legalization was discussed. The BDSA is a leading firm focused on providing actionable cannabis market intelligence.

“North Dakota and South Dakota population is only about 800,000 – 900,000 for each of those two states [meanwhile] Maryland and Missouri have 6 million and became a combined $9.3 million. The first thing is to remember we just added 9.3 million adults to access adult-use cannabis,” Bingham said.

The CEO stressed the importance of cannabis legalization in Maryland where it overwhelmingly won with 67% support, and Missouri, where Amendment 3 passed with 53% support.

“We expect a very large market, Missouri, $277 million in 2023, which is just across the first year, and rapid growth thereafter. We're projecting a Maryland adult-use market to start in 2024. Maybe they'll beat us to it and get started in 2023. But in 2024, we think that that market will be at least $200 million. $215 million is currently in our latest forecast,” Bingham said.

“I think that's important to put things into context. There is a continuation of the ongoing evolution of the industry on a state-by-state basis, and the driver of growth for the industry, of course, is now in these new and emerging markets, both on the medical side and especially when they convert or add adult use,” he added.

“We're primarily focused on consumer adoption, consumer trends, and total retail sales. And that's primarily driven by what's happening at the state level. Certainly, federal legalization will boost the industry and we think that will likely happen in the out years of our projection, probably 2025 or 2026 when it has an impact. But we're not assuming a dramatic impact because by then the vast majority of the population will have access anyway.”

Political Outlook: Talking To ‘Acceptors’

Elections represent a window of opportunity to change laws, and when they pass, they configure a new political landscape that needs to be reinterpreted to move legalization forward. As political discourse radicalizes and conservative politics become mainstream globally, how can the industry talk to conservative …

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