With legalization spreading like wildfire in the US, now is a good time to see how cannabis is performing in mainstream markets. According to the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook, an annual report compiled by researchers at Marijuana Business Daily, the plant has outclassed numerous prescription meds and consumer-related services.

In 2016, the legal cannabis sector racked up a whopping $4 billion – $4.5 billion in sales – beating Viagra and Cialis ($2.7 billion) in the arena of prescription medicine. This level of growth also surpassed annual sales of tequila, Girl Scout cookies and paid music streaming services.

The report highlights that recreational cannabis stores are busier than ever, catering to an average of 119 customers per day. This year, US consumers are forecasted to spend between $5 billion and $6 billion on legal cannabis.

There are several factors that contributed to the emerging sector’s new milestone. Last year, a total of seven states legalized cannabis (medically or recreationally). Furthermore, Pew Research concluded over half of US-based adults (over 18) favor cannabis legalization. A 2016 Gallup poll further reinforces these findings, citing 60 percent of survey respondents support legalization – an impressive 25 percent increase from 2005.

It is important to point out that some states that recently legalized the plant in 2016 are still in the process of drafting local regulations and guidelines. Because of this delay, the full impact of the supporting states won’t be felt (or picked up by reports) until 2017 or 2018. For now, the potential of those states should be taken into consideration, as researchers estimate sales to reach roughly $17 billion by 2021.

In Colorado alone, sales increased by 42 percent last year. To give you an idea of how fast the local cannabis scene is growing in the state, officials collected $135 million in taxes and licensing fees in 2016 – up by 78 percent from the year before at $76 million. Around $35 million of the collected funds will be used to streamline the construction of educational institutions around the location.

“The additional tax revenue far exceeds the cost of regulating the system,”

said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for industry advocacy group the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Regulating and taxing marijuana has been incredibly successful in Colorado, and it represents a model for other states to follow.”

The success of the legal cannabis sector echoes beyond participating businesses and consumers. Lax regulations help increase tourism in states with legal cannabis laws. From an economic perspective, the impact of the industry in 2016 was estimated to have reached $16 billion – $18 billion. By 2021, researchers predict the economic impact of legal cannabis to hit $68 billion.

Should the industry continue to exceed sales and market expectations, it could easily eclipse the snack food sector (valued at $39 billion) in the future. It already has up to four times more employees to make it happen.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet_bg']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']
[data-image-id='gourmet']