Anderson Economic Group Work

Anderson Economic Group AndCan Index, October 2018 Release: U.S. demand for cannabis products increased for sixth consecutive month

  • The demand for legal cannabis products in the U.S. increased by 0.7% in July.
  • Cannabis product demand is up 7.5% from six months ago.
  • July marks the first month in which recreational use in Vermont is legal.


EAST LANSING, MI—October 3, 2018—The demand for legal cannabis products in the United States increased by 0.7% in July 2018, according to the monthly AndCan Index, which closely monitors demand across every U.S. state.

“U.S. demand for cannabis products has been increasing for six consecutive months,” said AEG consultant Traci Giroux, who oversees the AndCan Index.

In July 2018, recreational use of marijuana became legal in Vermont, the first state to legalize recreational marijuana through its state legislature. “Vermont has yet to legalize a commercial market for recreational use, so this change in legal status has a modest effect on consumer demand,” said Giroux.

AndCan Index data shows that the demand for legal cannabis products has grown by 36.5% nationwide since the start of 2015. Since the November 2016 election, when four states—Nevada, California, Massachusetts, and Maine—voted to legalize recreational use of marijuana, overall U.S. demand has increased by 21.8%.

The AndCan Index was launched in June 2017. It builds from three years of comprehensive coverage of the U.S. cannabis market and assessments of demand by Anderson Economic Group; a rigorous methodology that has been presented in technical papers at two conferences of professional economists; and more than two decades of business consulting experience worldwide. Comments from other economists from these conferences, as well as additional research by Anderson Economic Group consultants, have been incorporated into the AndCan Index.

Rising cloud: July marked the sixth consecutive month of growth in U.S. demand for cannabis products.

How the AndCan Index is constructed

The AndCan Index originates from tens of thousands of data points, including recreational and medical sales in states where cannabis products sales are legal (where available for Alaska, California, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington). In addition, it includes calculations for the latent (unobserved) demand in emerging markets across the remainder of the 50 states.

Adjustments are made based on the concentration of cannabis in products that are sold both medically and recreationally—a highly-potent marijuana cigarette is indicative of greater demand for cannabis than a low-potency, cannabis-oil-infused beverage, for instance—as well as the market-share of these products, and pricing differences from state-to-state.

In those states where legal sales are not available, we estimated latent demand from survey data on marijuana usage, alcoholic beverage consumption and spending, and demographic data. Estimates are made for each state based on that state’s unique data.

Monthly data on actual purchases in states where the products are legal are the primary drivers of month-to-month variation in the AndCan Index. As states change their laws, AndCan captures the transition from latent demand to observed demand without the distortion that would be caused by incorrectly assuming that all taxable sales in newly-legalized states represent growth in consumer demand.

Historical data dates back to the start of 2015. All values are indexed to the period of the November 2016 U.S. general election. The index structure means that any value greater than 100 indicates that the market demand has increased since the baseline period of November 2016.

The same market expertise is used in the publication The Market for Legal Cannabis Products in the 50 United States—AEG’s 265 page, state-by-state analysis. This report is one of the most comprehensive on the economics of the cannabis industry, estimating market demand—for recreational marijuana and the use of marijuana-related products—in each of the 50 United States.

The report is in its Second Edition and was updated following results from the nine ballot initiatives in the 2016 election. For more information on the report, visit

Editorial note: Beginning with this release, the AndCan Index incorporates more comprehensive sales data from the State of Nevada.  Accordingly, historical index values have been adjusted to reflect the most accurate information available.

About Anderson Economic Group

Since its founding in 1996, Anderson Economic Group has become one of the nation’s premier boutique consulting firms, specializing in business valuation, expert testimony, and public policy. AEG has assisted governments, universities, large corporations, and businesses across the U.S. and abroad. All of the firm’s work is based on its core values of Professionalism, Integrity, and Expertise.

AEG has offices in East Lansing, Chicago, and New York.

Jason Fedorinchik

AEG—East Lansing, Michigan