Legal Marijuana Sales
Across 23 states and Washington, D.C., recreational and legal marijuana sales have surpassed $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion the year before, according to the fourth annual State of Legal Marijuana Markets report.
The ArcView Group, a cannabis investment and research firm, and New Frontier, a marijuana big data and analytics company, co-published the report, using data collected from government agencies, legal cannabis businesses, drug law reform advocates, and academic and medical institutions.
As a whole, the marijuana industry is growing at a rate of +30% year after year. Adult use market sales, which calculates only recreational sales for anyone over 21, increased from $351 million in 2014 to $998 million in 2015, an 184% increase.
With $5.4 billion in sales in 2015, 2016 is expected to bring in $6.7 billion and $21.8 billion by 2020.
The changing attitudes towards marijuana and cannabis culture, in general, has given birth to the state-by-state legalization efforts that have moved large portions of the industry out of the black market and into the kettle of mainstream commerce.
Colorado was the first state to legalize adult use in 2012, and its market has been open for only two years, bringing in $135 million in taxes from cannabis sales and license fees (up 77 percent from $76 million in 2014). In the next five years, Washington state expects to bring in $636 million to the state.
These numbers are also attracting investments from stakeholders and firms. ArcView’s investor network alone invested $45 million into 66 cannabis companies in 2015.
Looking ahead, the report forecasts 2016 could be a big year for marijuana, as seven more states are poised to legalize it: Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Rhode Island and Vermont. Other states like Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania will vote on passing medical marijuana laws.
As the industry grows and more marijuana markets become legitimate, entrepreneurs and investors are anticipating a windfall of business and investment opportunities.
Many in the business and financial sector have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach to the legal cannabis industry,” says Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group. “The new data confirms what pioneer investors and entrepreneurs suspected. Legalization of marijuana is one of greatest business opportunities of our time, and it’s still early enough to see tremendous growth.”