The grass really is greener on the other side—at least on the other side of legalization.
According to new data released by Marijuana Business Daily, if current business and legalization trends continue, the U.S. cannabis industry will pump up to $44 billion into the country's economy by 2020. The annual report, which has been produced since 2012, predicts that the economic impact of the industry will jump from $14 - $17 billion in 2016 to $24 - $44 billion in the next four years.
Yahoo! Finance points out that these figures are not simply the sales of marijuana; they incorporate the sales, plus other money pumped into the economy as a direct result of sales.
"The estimates attempt to capture the industry’s overall contribution to the economy, encompassing everything from revenues generated by cannabis-related companies, licensing fees and taxes to marijuana tourism, employee spending, job creation and the impact on real estate prices in a community," Marijuana Business Daily explained in its report.
“We’re witnessing the emergence of a business that is about to become a massive economic force,” Chris Walsh, managing editor of MBD, explained. “These figures, which we deem conservative, show not only how important the industry already is to the U.S economy at large, but also how much more important it is about to become.”
As for actual sales of cannabis, MBD estimates the figure will hit $6 to $11 billion by 2020.
(Photo Courtesy of 18 Karat Reggae Gold)