Since several states have seen loosening marijuana laws, legalizing it for medical use and, in Colorado and Washington, recreational use, the marijuana market has been gaining steam.
In a Huffington Post exclusively-obtained report, which surveyed hundreds of legal marijuana retailers and businesses, the research group predicted almost $1.5 billion in legal pot sales this year. But next year, that number may go up $2.34 billion, a 64 percent increase.
The marijuana market looks so financially promising that private investors are wanting to put some of their money into the market as it in a position to one of, if not the, fastest growing market in the country. The Huffington Post reported that the marijuana market is on the fast track to surpass the smartphone market in terms of expansion.
“Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries,” said former Wells Fargo managing director and report editor Steve Berg. “Domestically, we weren’t able to find any market that is growing as quickly.”
Much like the market potential, the acceptance of marijuana has also been snowballing as numerous pieces of recently passed legislation have opened the door for the public to witness its harmlessness and utility. Washington and Colorado will implement its recreational-use marijuana laws next year, which is expected to bring over $300 million into the market just from Colorado.
If 14 more states legalize recreational marijuana over the next five years, as the report predicted, the marijuana market could enjoy an increase up to $10.2 billion. And that’s only accounting for the crop itself. Other things like paraphernalia and growing equipment would contribute to growth also, as well as the extra revenue that would occur as a result of lightened law enforcement.
However, despite the federal government vainly keeping the overly expensive war on drugs alive, advocates are hopeful of marijuana’s eventual, full embrace in the country. And with good reason, as it seems.
“This industry is professionalizing and seeing an influx of professionals from other industries,” said Berg. “More and more investors are coming in and financing these businesses.”
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.