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New data shows a quarter of Americans now consume cannabis. Nationally, sales are expected to rise to more than $28 billion by next year. That kind of optimism is fueling M&A in the space and building up strong multi-state operators.

Along with improving revenues, US cannabis firms can also look forward to even more support for deregulation from both sides of the American political spectrum. House Republicans recently played a significant role in green-lighting the SAFE Banking Act that could loosen federal restrictions on the cannabis industry’s access to financial infrastructure. Meanwhile many Republican-controlled states continue to embrace medical marijuana.

Related ETF & Stocks: ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ), Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. (CURLF), Trulieve Cannabis Corp. (TCNNF), Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. (HRVSF)

New data from a study by Cresco Labs’ Sunnyside brand and YouGov that found 25% of Americans now consume cannabis, an increase of 56% from 2018.

In some states like Illinois, where first quarter cannabis tax revenue (more than $86 million) surpassed that of alcohol for the first time ever, total sales of adult-use marijuana products will break out above $1 billion for the full-year 2020. That would be significant increase from last year when Illinois sold $670 million worth of marijuana-related products within state lines, pulling in about $205 million in total tax revenue.

Cannabis data and analytics company Headset predicts that overall US cannabis sales will reach $22.7 billion in 2021, up from $18.5 billion last year. For 2022, Headset projects cannabis sales will eclipse $28 billion. The firm also found that this year’s unofficial 4/20 holiday, traditionally the biggest day for cannabis consumption nationwide, was the biggest ever with sales totals representing an 84.5% jump in average daily sales versus the previous four Tuesdays in the US and a 59.9% spike in Canada.

Potential US Cannabis Giants Emerging From the Pack

That kind of revenue is juicing up expectations for top firms in the American cannabis industry.

Among them, multi-state operator Curaleaf is seen as having massive potential. In their most recent earnings report – released on Monday – Curaleaf reported first-quarter losses of $17.2 million, or EPS of -$0.03, identical to the year ago period. However, sales exploded to $260.3 million from just $96.5 million a year ago. As MarketWatch notes, retail and wholesale cannabis revenue each more than tripled, while management fees plunged. The company now operates more than 100 retail pot stores across the US, including four in Illinois and Pennsylvania that have opened since the end of the quarter, and is approaching 2,000 wholesale partner accounts, according to disclosures made Monday.

Elsewhere in the burgeoning US industry, Trulieve Cannabis said Monday that it plans to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation in a $2.1 billion all-stock deal…

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