Marijuana economy expected to reach $44 billion by 2020

Will the industry become an economic force?

The weed industry is expected to earn $44 billion by the year 2020, according to Marijuana Business Daily’s annual report.

Every dollar spent on medical and recreational marijuana at the retail level leads to an extra $3 for the economy. In four years, the report estimates, that the industry’s annual economic impact will rise from $14 billion-$17 billion in 2016 to $24 billion-$44 billion. 

“Overall, for each dollar spent/earned by cannabis companies, an additional three dollars in economic benefit will be realized,” the report reads. “For example, a cannabis dispensary/store makes a sale for $100. The business then uses a portion of that money to pay an employee, who in turn uses a portion of that money to buy groceries at the local grocer, and so on – a process that creates a ripple of economic value, most of which remains in the community.”

The publication's managing editor Chris Walsh said that the US is witnessing "the emergence of a business" that will become a "massive economic force.”

“These figures, which we deem conservative, show not only how important the industry already is to the US economy at large, but also how much more important it is about to become,” he writes.

Walsh added that the main drivers of recreational sales are Colorado, Washington and Oregon and that even states with new medical marijuana laws have markets that are growing rapidly.

Despite the possibility of a new US president who opposes reforming marijuana laws, Walsh said that opponents of marijuana will be fighting a losing battle.

"You might get an anti-cannabis president in January, but even then, it's hard to see this going in the opposite direction," he said, according to Yahoo News. "The genie's out of the bottle, half the country has legalized medical marijuana and an increasing number of states are legalizing recreational. Anyone who tries to stand in its way is going to have a hard time."

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