Medicinal Cannabis Sales Skyrocket to $165M in 2023: A 60% Surge, Reports NostraData

Leading retail pharmacy data specialist, NostraData, reveals explosive growth of medicinal cannabis sales in Australia throughout 2023. The year witnessed annual sales exceeding $165 million, marking a remarkable 60% increase from 2022, based on an extensive analysis of sales data from over 4,500 pharmacies. This surge in sales reflects not only an escalating demand from patients but also a growing acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate form of medicine.

Consistent Growth Throughout 2023:

  • Both the quantity of medicinal cannabis dispensed and the sale value experienced consistent growth throughout each quarter of 2023.
  • The data showcases the industry’s resilience and sustained momentum, quarter by quarter, as more patients turn to medicinal cannabis for relief.


Figure 1 2022 & 2023 comparative quarterly performance of medicinal cannabis in retail pharmacy. NostraData pharmacy data (n=~4,500); Sales Jan 2022 – December 2023 – Patient Value. 

Queensland Dominates Sales:

  • Queensland maintains its stronghold on the market, accounting for a staggering 59% of total sales in 2023.
  • NSW demonstrated steady growth throughout the year, elevating its market share by 2.7% to become the second-largest state market at 19.4%. South Australia’s market share grew by 4.5% off a low base and incredibly QLD continued to demonstrate market share growth.

Key Players Driving Growth:

  • Industry leaders Cannatrek and MedReleaf collectively contribute to over 50% of the total sales value of medicinal cannabis.
  • MedReleaf increased its market share by an impressive 6.6%, while Cannatrek continues to lead the way in both sales amount (32%) and volume (29%).

Industry Insight:

  • “Growth in the sector has come largely from the flower variant, and we expect to see even more significant developments in the future,” notes Nick Biggs, Pharmacist and General Manager at NostraData.
  • Beyond the top 10 companies in Q4 there is 18% of sales which comprises 50 cannabis companies, prompting discussions of potential industry consolidation to ensure long-term viability.

Pharmacies as Catalysts for Success:

  • Pharmacies that have embraced medicinal cannabis and invested in patient and staff education have thrived in this evolving landscape.
  • While once the domain of niche pharmacies, NostraData advocates for a broader understanding of medicinal cannabis among all pharmacies. It is crucial for them to be well-versed in the therapeutic applications, ordering processes, and patient support to ensure optimal health outcomes.
    Figure 2 Comparative analysis by quarter of distinct count of pharmacies who have dispensed medicinal cannabis. NostraData pharmacy data (n= ~4,500)

The medicinal cannabis market in Australia is not just growing; it’s thriving. As patients increasingly turn to cannabis for relief, the industry is poised for further expansion and innovation.

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