Legal Pot Expected to Trounce Black Market by 2024

The biggest challenge to legal cannabis in California is the black market, which continues to eclipse regulated sales. But a new analysis says that won’t last forever. In fact, BDS Analytics is predicting that legal marijuana sales will overtake the illicit trade within the next five years.

“The forecast, from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research, estimates that California’s total cannabis market is expected to earn about $12.8 billion this year, with $8.7 billion going to illicit operators and $3.1 billion to the state-authorized market,” the Sacramento Bee reports.

“However, in 2024 legal marijuana sales are forecast to reach $7.2 billion, surpassing the projected $6.4 billion in illicit cannabis sales.”

That’s music to the ears of industry officials and regulators. But a word of caution is warranted. The analysts said that forecast could be limited by California’s tax and regulatory policies.