The third edition of the ArcView Group’s State of Legal Marijuana Markets report found that cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the United States. This report revealed that $2.7 billion was spent in the cannabis industry in 2014, which is a 74 percent increase from $1.5 billion in 2013.
If this trend continues as more states legalize, it is predicted that the industry could easily be worth more than the organic food market. Organic foods currently bring about $33 billion each year, and it is estimated that the legal marijuana market could bring in closer to $36 billion each year once every state ends prohibition. By 2019, it is projected that the industry could be worth over $10 billion as new markets join and the already established ones grow.
Cannabis concentrates, edibles, infused-beverages and other products that are not readily available for purchase on the black market, are rapidly gaining in popularity and account for a large portion of the current legal market. Could items like these end up on the shelves of large food industry leaders like Whole Foods? ArcView CEO, Troy Dayton, says yes. Dayton reported to Business Insider,
“It’s possible that Whole Foods could be the Whole Foods of cannabis.”
Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey, reportedly acknowledged that he would be open to the idea ONLY if the plant and infused products were fully legalized and accepted by the local communities.
Troy Dayton continued his thought about the possible cohesion of the two markets to Business Insider,
“John Mackey said he could definitely see a gourmet cannabis section at Whole Foods.”
The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report also reveals that $370 million dollars were spent by consumers in Colorado and Washington in 2014. Once Alaska and Oregon have a legal recreational market running for at least a full year, similar purchases are expected to be seen from consumers in the two newest legal states.
The fastest-growing market was actually seen in Arizona, a state where only medical marijuana has been legal since 2010. Sales in Arizona reached $35 million in 2013, and surged to $155 million in 2014, further confirming the growth potential estimated for maturing markets.
No matter how it is viewed, the cannabis industry is definitely making a considerable contribution to the resurgence of the American economy, and it seems as though it is on track to continue to stimulate business and opportunities throughout the United States.
photo credit: fresh