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Medical Marijuana Expected to Be Legal in All 50 U.S. States by 2024

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The U.S. cannabis market is growing rapidly, and it may not be long before we see every state have some form of marijuana legalized.

A recent report by research companies Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics suggests that by 2024, we could see the global cannabis sales in regulated markets to reach US$40 billion, more than double the US$14.9 billion that the companies project will be achieved this year, which is a 36% increase over the prior year.

A big part of that assumption, however, is the expectation that legalization in the U.S. will continue to progress significantly in the coming years.

The companies have high expectations for the future, which they say are backed by others following cannabis legalization, “Legalization advocates endorsed our view that all fifty U.S. states can be expected to be medically legal by 2024, and that twenty will have adult-use sales.”

Are these numbers too conservative?

With more than 30 states having legalized medical marijuana thus far, it may not be that big of a leap to assume that the remaining states will legalize it in five years. It may even be a conservative assumption given how quickly we’ve seen states moving on cannabis legislation.

Reaching 20 states in the adult-use market also isn’t much growth in five years given that we’re already at 11 and we know it’s on the radar for New York and New Jersey.

The good news is that we could see a lot more progress on the legalization front than these companies are expecting, which would likely result in these estimates for the market becoming even bigger.

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Growing U.S. market could be a source of significant growth for Canadian producers

One company that has its sights set on the U.S. cannabis market is Aurora Cannabis Inc (TSX:ACB)(NYSE:ACB), which has been fairly quiet on its ambitions south of the border. However, the company has said that it will reveal its plans for the market at some point this year.

Aurora has been adding to its supply and could be poised to make a big jump into the U.S., especially now that the company has some key personnel that can help it grow via acquisition and advance its long-term strategy.

Aurora has been too quiet for too long, especially when you consider how aggressive it has been in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if the company comes out with a big announcement at some point this year as the stakes are too high for Aurora to be sitting in the sidelines while its competitors get a leg up.

Although it wouldn’t be able to jump into the marijuana market, it would be able to take advantage of hemp being legal in the U.S. and using that as a way to penetrate the market and developing a strong customer base south of the border.

Given the success we’ve seen a company like Charlotte’s Web enjoy by focusing solely on hemp, it’s easy to see the growth potential for a company like Aurora as well.

The market in the U.S. is only getting bigger with each piece of cannabis legislation that passes, which is why it may only be a matter of time before we see Aurora make a significant move to take advantage of those opportunities.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium service or advisor. We’re Motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer, so we sometimes publish articles that may not be in line with recommendations, rankings or other content.

Fool contributor David Jagielski has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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