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Report Projects America’s Marijuana Market Will Reach $17B by 2021

This year’s annual marijuana market report from Marijuana Business Daily projects the nation’s industry will grow 30 percent this year and reach $6 billion.

Retail marijuana sales in the United States may reach up to $6.1 billion this year before eventually ballooning to as high as $17 billion by 2021, according to a new report from Marijuana Business Daily. The Marijuana Business Factbook 2017 projects that the nation’s market will grow 30 percent from last year’s estimated $4 billion to $4.5 billion in sales.

“The marijuana industry is primed and pumped for explosive growth in the foreseeable future, provided there isn’t a significant crackdown at the federal level,” said Chris Walsh, editorial director of Marijuana Business Daily. “The business opportunities that will emerge in the coming years are tremendous for both existing marijuana companies and new ones that start up.”

The report, produced annually by the cannabis-focused news source, claims that the growth of the market will be primarily driven by a rise in the recreational market as adult use programs in more states take effect. It projects that recreational sales, which accounted for 40 to 45 percent of all marijuana sales in 2016, may actually surpass those of medical for the first time this year.

Recreational retail shops are expected to generate an estimated $2.6 billion to $2.9 billion in sales this year, while medical sales are expected to bring in $2.5 billion to $3.2 billion, according to the Factbook. The states with operating adult use markets – Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska – are expected to continue growing strong, and Nevada, which legalized adult use marijuana last November, will launch its sales this July.

“While it remains to be seen how rec markets in 2017 will ultimately fare, early figures out of Colorado and Washington state show sales are at levels way above this same time last year – illustrating the growth potential these relatively mature markets still possess,” the report reads.

U.S. Marijuana Laws

Beyond 2017, the recreational market appears even brighter. Three states – California, Massachusetts, and Maine – that recently legalized recreational marijuana expect to start retail sales in 2018. California alone is expected to generate $4.5 billion to $5 billion in annual recreational sales by 2021.

“These new markets, as well as other states that legalize in the near future, will set the stage for impressive growth over the next five years. By 2021, we project that annual retail marijuana sales in the United States could top $17 billion, which would represent a 300% increase from 2016,” reads the report.

On the medical side, several states that have legalized cannabis for qualified patients recently – Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, West Virginia — are working at getting their programs up and operational. Once online, these markets will generate billions per year.

The Factbook estimates that the American cannabis industry currently employs 165,000 to 230,000 full- and part-time workers and projects that it will create a $20 billion to $24 billion economic impact in 2017.

The executive summary of the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017 is available to view here.

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