How much do you know about cannabis in the United States? We have compiled a list of 10 interesting statistics on cannabis that you can use to impress your friends.
Marijuana is a hot topic in 2020, with the past decade bringing cannabis reform to the forefront of social justice and policy change on every level. As we slide into the next decade, let’s look at some interesting marijuana statistics that may come as a surprise.
Domestic Hemp Production has Grown by 368%
Domestic hemp acreage leaped by 368% from 2018 to 2019, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In 2018, farmers planted 27,000 acres of hemp. So far in 2020, a total of 146,780 acres of hemp has already been planted and at least 47 states have enacted legislation to launch industrial hemp programs.
So what’s hemp good for anyway? Hemp takes versatility to the next level. It’s harvested for its stalks and seeds, with thousands of product applications, including hemp food, wellness products, cosmetics, animal feed, hemp clothing, paper, construction materials, bioplastic, and biofuels. And then there are hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) products which is a separate booming industry.
We could go on and on about hemp, but that would take away from the next statistic on our list.
More than 72% of Marijuana in the U.S. is Illegally Cultivated
The illegal marijuana market is alive and well despite a recent wave of legalization that has swept the country. According to New Frontier Data’s report, “The U.S. Cannabis Cultivation Report: 2019 Legal and Illicit Output by State,” more than 72% of the cannabis cultivated in the U.S. is done so illegally.
Among states having the largest illicit demand, California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois round out the top five. High prices on licensing, state taxes, and frequent regulation changes drove some small farmers with intentions to step into the legal light back into the illegal market, while others are still transitioning into the legal market.
Nearly 30% of Adults in the U.S. Live Where Recreational Marijuana is Legal
Eleven states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational cannabis. Those populations combined make up approximately 29% of adults in the country, according to the Pew Research Center.
Illinois became the latest in that group kicking off recreational sales on Jan. 1, 2020. There could be more added to the list this year. Eleven states could see some form of cannabis legalization in the new year, with New Jersey, New Mexico, Florida, Arizona, New York, North Dakota, and Montana all considering recreational cannabis legalization.
Only 8% of Americans Say Marijuana Should Stay Illegal
Statistically speaking, the American people are over cannabis prohibition. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds of Americans say the use of cannabis should be legal, reflecting a steady shift of public opinion over the past decade.
A 2019 survey showed 91% of Americans say some form of marijuana should be legal, while 59% say it should be legal for both medical and recreational purposed and 32% say marijuana should be legal for only medical purposed. Fewer than one-in-ten (8%) want to keep marijuana illegal in all circumstances.
14% of Americans Now Use CBD Products
In 2020, CBD is becoming a household word. According to a recent Gallup poll, one in seven American adults utilizes some form of CBD.
The primary age group of CBD users tends to be adults younger than 30 and who live in the Western U.S. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-intoxicating compound found in the marijuana plant that interacts with the endocannabinoid system, the system that maintains homeostasis or balance in the body.
11% of American Adults Say They Have Used Marijuana Over the Past Month
In a 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 11% of Americans ages 18 and older reported using marijuana over the previous month. The number was a slight increase over 2017.
The same survey found that 16% of adults reported using marijuana in the last year. The largest age group for both past-year and past-month marijuana users was 18-25. Overall, the survey found more than 48% of American adults have used marijuana at some point in their life.
Legal Cannabis Has Created 211,000 Full-Time Jobs in the U.S.
Looking for a career change? A recent report shows that the legal cannabis industry is creating more jobs than any other industry in the U.S. According to the report from Leafly and Whitney Economics, more than 64,000 cannabis jobs were created in 2018. The total number of jobs increases to 296,000 when ancillary companies are taken into account.
Researchers estimate the total number of direct, full-time jobs in the state-legal cannabis industry will experience a 110% growth over a three-year span. In 2017 the cannabis workforce increased 21% and then grew another 44% in 2018.
State Legal Marijuana Sales Generated $1.6 Billion in 2019 Tax Revenue
A report from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy found that in Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, 2019 cannabis tax revenue is projected to reach $1.6 billion.
The anticipated $1.6 billion dollar revenue represents a 15% jump from the $1.3 billion these states collected in 2018, rivaling the amount of revenue gathered from alcohol excise taxes in those states. The report also shows that most legal states have seen revenue more than double from the first to the second year.
Police Across America Make a Marijuana-Related Arrest Every 48 Seconds
It seems like since cannabis legalization is in more states than not, the frequency of marijuana-related arrests should be stalling out, but according to the 2018 FBI Uniform Crime Report System marijuana arrests have slightly increased for the third straight year.
In each region of the country except the West, people are arrested for marijuana possession more than any other federally illegal substance. According to a Forbes report, in 2018 there were 663,367 marijuana arrests in the U.S. revealing that every minute in the U.S. someone is being arrested for marijuana.
73% of 2020 Presidential Candidates Back Marijuana Legalization
We couldn’t leave you without some food for thought on the upcoming presidential election. At the time of this publication, 15 candidates were still in the running for president. Of those, three are Republicans and 12 are Democrats. Eleven of those 15 endorse marijuana legalization.
Donald Trump is the only Republican candidate who does not support recreational cannabis legalization. Democratic candidates Michael Bloomberg, John Delaney, and Joe Biden all oppose recreational legalization.
Found out more details about where each presidential candidate stands on cannabis legalization.
More on Marijuana
Follow us on our journey into the new decade as we continue to cover the latest developments in cannabis policy, business, and scientific research by visiting our cannabis news page.