Minnesota's legal marijuana market could generate $1.5 billion in annual sales by the end of the decade and serve more than 700,000 consumers a year, according to a new market analysis from one of the nation's top cannabis law firms.

While retail marijuana sales in the state likely won't start until January 2025, Vicente LLP predicts sales will balloon from about $550 million that first year to $1.54 billion in 2029. That trajectory would mirror other states that legalized recreational marijuana.

"It's going to be an amazing opportunity for people interested in the adult-use cannabis market," said Travis Copenhaver, a partner at Vicente LLP.

Vicente LLP presented the stats last week during a well-attended cannabis entrepreneurship seminar at Surly Brewing in Minneapolis.

Brian Vicente, the law firm's founding partner, helped write Colorado's marijuana legalization ballot initiative more than a decade ago.

Minnesota's market is expected to follow several patterns established by Colorado and the other 21 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis.

High prices and tight supply will likely mark the early days as the industry grows to meet demand. Eventually, prices will fall, the market will become saturated and annual sales may peak around $1.5 billion.

Vicente said Minnesota is uniquely positioned for the start of recreational marijuana sales because of its legalization of low-dose, hemp-derived THC edibles and beverages in 2022.

That helped lay the groundwork for the full market by getting Minnesotans familiar with similar products ahead of time, Vicente said.

About 650,000 Minnesotans are expected to consume cannabis in any given month, according to the Vicente study. That's 15% of the population 21 and older.

Most users aren't expected to jump to the legal market right away; it may take until 2030 before the vast majority is buying from dispensaries instead of dealers.

More than 40,000 border-county residents likely will visit Minnesota dispensaries every year, and thousands of tourists are expected to shop for pot as well, according to the Vicente report.

"I think Minnesota stands to have a fair amount of tourist traffic from individuals that are coming from Iowa and North Dakota ... to buy Minnesota products," Vicente said.

In Michigan, which has nearly double the population of Minnesota, annual marijuana sales reached $2 billion in 2022, according to state reports. Michigan's sales this year are on track to reach $2.7 billion.

Colorado, with a population that closely matches Minnesota's, reported $1.7 billion in marijuana sales in 2022, down from a high of $2.2 billion the previous year.

The Rocky Mountain state recorded $683 million in marijuana sales in 2014, its first year of legal sales. By 2017, marijuana sales in Colorado grew to $1.5 billion, state data shows.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that recreational marijuana sales could generate about $111 million in annual tax revenue for the state and roughly $17 million for local governments by fiscal year 2027.