Staggering amounts of money will be generated by marijuana sales now legal in nine American states, pumping billions of dollars into the economy and creating thousands of jobs in the workplace.
It does not matter how vociferous the voices of anti-weed campaigners may ring, cannabis is Big Business and the taxes from pot sales will enrich the lives of thousands of US citizens.
One just has to glance at the cold, hard facts to realize that legal weed spells an economic force to be reckoned with.
Take the stock market as an example. Investors have been quick to capitalize on pot stocks and have reaped rich rewards with some stocks quadrupling in value over a two-year period. One just has to look at the insightful Marijuana Business Factbook to appreciate just how marijuana is and will continue to change the face of the American economy.Published annually by Marijuana Business Daily, “Factbook” analyses job creation and estimated pot sales over the next five years.
Here are seven astounding facts that will leave you gob-smacked.
- A $75 billion cash injection
Pot sales are expected to impact the economy to the tune of $75 billion by 2022. Using a multiplier of 3.5, Factbook estimates that for every dollar spent on marijuana products, $2.50 will be pumped into the economic wellbeing of citizens nationwide.
- Pot demand estimated at a dizzy $52.5 billion
The demand for pot is so huge that in the US alone the figure is estimated $52.5 billion and includes both the legal and black markets. However, it’s the black market that is still grabbing the lion’s share of trade, with sales estimated at $46 billion last year. This fact indicates that the legal pot market still has mountains to climb before outstripping industry players still operating in the shadows. Another aspect of this sheer volume of money exchanging hands is that it has been instrumental in pushing pot stocks to dizzying heights, with some investors quadrupling their cash outlay within a mere 24 months.
- Legal pot sales will reach $22 billion by 2022
Legal pot sales will grow from its current $6.5 billion mark to an estimated $22 billion by 2022, a growth rate of 27 percent. This figure is dependent on more states declaring weed legal, as well as a continued upward spiral in sales volumes in states where weed is already a legal way of life. Colorado is used as an example of this trend – sales climbed from $699 million in 2014 to $1.49 billion in 2017. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2014.
- California pot sales play a major role
California’s entrance onto the legal stage at the beginning of 2018 is expected to play a major role in stimulating legal weed sales. Factbook estimates sales of $500 million in the sunshine state alone this year, while nationwide total legal sales are projected at between $7.9 billion and $9.7 billion. This amounts to a 42 percent annual growth rate. These projections include pot sales in Massachusetts which is going green this summer.
- Pot puts people to work
But it’s on the job-front that marijuana will play a major role in boosting the economy. There are already between 125,000 and 160,000 people working in the pot industry, a figure that is projected to climb to an astronomical 340,000 posts by 2022. These figures represent an employment growth rate of 21 percent annually and become all the more staggering when one considers that only a two percent growth rate is expected in the healthcare sector.
- Recreational pot sales exceed demand for medical marijuana
The recreational weed industry will far outstrip the sale of medical marijuana by 2022. According to Factbook, medical marijuana will generate up to $7.3 billionwithin that five-year timeframe, while recreational sales could reach a mind-blowing $14.8. The report points out that although the sale of medical marijuana has doubled since 2017, recreational pot sales will have quadrupled over the same period of time.
- Pot could outstrip cigarette sales
Last but not least is the disclosure that legal sales of weed will outstrip cigarettes. Factbook makes this claim based on the premise that an increasing number of consumers are throwing away their packs of cigarettes in favor of weed.
Despite optimism about the constructive impact of marijuana on the American society, the industry continues to operate in an uncertain atmosphere clouded by the federal government’s continued and dogmatic objection to the substance which they still regard as a Schedule One drug on a par with opiates like heroin.
Until such time as local governments that have legalized weed can take full control their marijuana industries, federal anti-weed laws make it impossible to serve pot businesses without fear of interference from the powers that be.