There are now 23 U.S. states that allow medical marijuana, but some of those states tightly restrict who can be a medical marijuana patient. Four of those states also allow recreational sales. We'll leave out D.C. where you can consume but not buy, unless I'm mistaken.
So almost 50% of the states in this country allow some form of marijuana sales. If you make this miracle plant legal, you are going to hit $30 billion easy, which would make it the largest cash crop in this country. Think about that.
Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015, Report Says
This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry has become a gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington.
Demand is expected to remain strong this year, with a forecast of $6.7 billion in legal sales, the report said.
The promises and headwinds of the industry are potentially far-reaching and attracting notice on Wall Street. As more states legalize marijuana sales, analysts are weighing the stock market benefits of new businesses as cannabis goes corporate. Funds are considering the ethics of investing in marijuana. Parents are even debating whether to allow their children to buy the stocks.
And say goodbye to the common resealable bags and heat lamps in the closet. Lucrative legal side businesses are spinning off, like the climate systems for growers built by a company in Boulder, Colo., and the FunkSac odor-proof and child-resistant marijuana bags produced in Denver.
Nonmedicinal adult use accounted for $998 million of the total sales in 2015, up from $351 million in 2014, according to the ArcView/New Frontier report summary. The estimates are based partly on state tax receipts and data on medical and recreational sales.
The report summary said that by 2020, legal market sales were forecast to be $21.8 billion.
The latest report defined three types of legal marijuana use: adult recreational use; medical use of cannabis; and medicinal use of a cannabis product from which the compound that gets a consumer high has been extracted.
Four states and the District of Columbia allow full adult use, and this year, seven more will vote on allowing it: California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Twenty-three states already permit medical cannabis use, and four others — Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania — are positioned to advance medical laws, the report said.
Cannabis businesses face a higher tax burden. They are also unable to use banks because of federal laws, which can hinder efficiency and pose security risks, forcing the businesses to invest heavily in security measures. Increased competition across state lines could pose new challenges as more states legalize the trade.