With last week’s changes to marijuana legislation in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington DC, it’s fair to say that legalization is in the front of many minds. Aljazeera has broken it down for us with their recent infographic showing where it’s legal, how much pot you can posses in newly legal states, and where it might be legalized next. The graphs show that marijuana support has risen from just 12% back in 1969 to 52% today. This distinctive change in the tides will certainly fuel more policy reform in the coming 2016 election year.
A new report from GreenWave Advisors says that the booming marijuana industry could be worth up to $35 billion by 2020, but a lot of things have to happen before then. First order of business: the federal Government needs to legalize cannabis for all 50 states. Although the legalization movement is quickly gaining steam across the country, it’s a tough call to say whether the federal government will legalize any time soon. GreenWave has accounted for this as well.
According to the advisory group, even if only twelve states legalize by 2020 the industry will still be worth up to $21 billion. The states would include:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
In addition to theses states, there would need to be an 37 states with medical marijuana programs; of which there are currently 23. The GreenWave group claims to have closely examined whether each state has made any significant progress towards legalization, and based their projections this information.
Founder Matt Karnes said, “We assume that once legalization occurs, it will take a little over a year to implement a program and have product available for sale. So for example, for Florida, we expect the ballot measure to pass yet our sales forecast starts in year 2016.” However, Karnes noted that as legalization happens in more and more states that the time to get each states’ program up and running will become progressively shorter.
Recent projections from the industry leading ArcView Group say that the market value was at $1.53 billion in 2013 and will reach $2.57 billion by the end of 2014. ArcView’s five year estimate chalks the industry’s value up $10.2 billion. It seems likely then that ArcView has accounted for a more conservative road toward legalization where some if not all of the 12 states mentioned pass legislation. Considering that marijuana is still scheduled as a Schedule I Drug, this conservative estimate seems more likely in current circumstances.
In Colorado, recreational sales have officially eclipsed medical sales and tax revenues continue to climb. Meanwhile, Washington’s can’t seem to fill the demand for recreational marijuana. With the fate of marijuana legislation already on three ballots for this fall one thing is certain: the industry is expanding quickly.
Photo Credit: Watchdogwire.com