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Compliance Costs Are the Most Significant Challenge Cannabis Operators Face

New survey data covers top challenges and market expectations for 2024.

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U.S. plant-touching cannabis businesses, like cultivators, manufacturers and retailers, believe the industry is heading in a better direction.

According to survey data from the 2024 MJBiz Factbook, more than 48% of revenue-generating cannabis businesses expect the industry will perform "somewhat better" or "much better" over the next 12 months.

The report also covers the most significant challenges operators currently face. The biggest is the cost of complying with regulations (12.1%), followed by federal laws and intervention (11.5%). Taxation (10.7%) came in third, followed by a lack of banking or payment processing (8.9%). The illicit market and unlicensed competitors (8.4%) rounded out the top five challenges. Luckily, it doesn't seem like many operators are struggling with declining demand (only 1.3%).

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The 12th annual Factbook, which costs at least $249 per year as part of a new subscription model, is a wealth of information. It contains almost 50 charts and a state-by-state overview of regulations, taxes and market conditions. 

The MJBiz Factbook examines industry trends and the impacts of new markets and ongoing legalization nationwide. For example, this year, U.S. cannabis sales will be higher than domestic sales of beef, potato chips and movies.

The economic impact of cannabis sales in the U.S. will top $112.4 billion in 2024, up 12% from last year. 

Additional topics covered in the Factbook include the possibility of plant-touching companies evading Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, the opening of new consumption lounges, merger and acquisition activity, new projected markets, hemp and CBD production, and sales of delta-8, delta-10, and THCA.


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