It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is a lucrative one, but it appears we may have underestimated just exactly how lucrative it might be.
While plenty of experts expected the industry to see rapid growth in North America, no one could have predicted the extent to which it’s happening right now.
According to a report from Arcview Market Research, retail cannabis sales are set to increase 33 percent from 2016’s figures and hit the $10 billion mark in 2017.
Additionally, researchers believe 2018’s number will increase by an even higher percentage, due to the pending legalization of recreational pot in several prominent areas.
“Aside from cryptocurrency, there is simply no other industry changing as rapidly or as unevenly as the cannabis sector,” said Troy Dayton, CEO of The Arcview Group.
Canada, for example, is set to legalize recreational pot on July 1, 2018. It will become the second country to ever do so after Uraguay did so back in 2013. Canada will, however, own the distinction of being the largest (and most prominent) country to federally legalize the plant.
Nevada, who legalized recreational weed this past July, saw $27 million in sales during its first month of retail. Due to its early success, the state is now expected to expand the industry by introducing cannabis tourism, something that is, by and large, expected to exponentially increase its profits.
But perhaps the biggest contributing factor to another exponential increase is California’s recreational weed market, which will debut in just under a month on January 1.
As it stands, California’s medical marijuana industry (which has now existed for over two decades), is as big as the markets in Colorado, Oregon and Washington… combined. The introduction of recreational pot is poised to drive the market to new highs.
Final Hit: Legal Pot Sales Will Hit $10 Billion This Year
Currently, Arcview projects the legal cannabis market to reach sales of $24.5 billion by 2021. However, this number remains simply an educated guess, as the same experts could not predict the $10 billion figure we are seeing today.
Growth in the burgeoning marijuana market remains exclusively dependent upon states changing their own laws regarding the plant. If certain states like New Jersey, which is currently in discussions to legalize the plant, manage to do so successfully, there’s no telling just how high the market could rise.
And if it ever becomes legal on a federal scale, those original projections would be shattered. Although at this point, that doesn’t seem likely by 2021.
Regardless, what’s happening now is a step in the right direction.