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Legal Marijuana the Fastest-Growing Industry in the Country
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Marijuana may become one of the nation's largest industries.

Summary: The legal marijuana markets may eventually rake in billions of dollars.

The Huffington Post reports that the legal marijuana industry is the fastest-growing business in the entire country. Should all 50 states legalize pot, marijuana could grow bigger than the organic food industry.


The ArcView Group is a cannabis industry investment and research firm out of Oakland, California. It discovered that the market in the United States for legal weed grew 74 percent in 2014, from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014.

In their report, ArcView gathered data from state agencies, private companies, and nonprofits in the marijuana industry. It also conducted surveys of hundreds of recreational and medical retailers in states where such sales are legal. Surveys were also conducted of independent cultivators of marijuana and ancillary business operators. The surveys were gathered over a seven-month period in 2013 and 2014.

Law schools are even introducing marijuana law classes.

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Troy Dayton, the CEO of ArcView, as well as a publisher of the third edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets, said, “In the last year, the rise of the cannabis industry went from an interesting cocktail conversation to being taken seriously as the fastest growing industry in America. At this point, it’s hard to imagine that any serious businessperson who is paying attention hasn’t spent some time thinking about the possibilities in this market.”

According to the report, 2015 will also be a strong year for legal marijuana, with 32 percent growth predicted. According to Dayton, this places “cannabis in the top spot” when compared to other industries that are growing.

Will marijuana eventually become legal in the entire country?

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In fact, many predict that the marijuana industry will grow over the next five years. ArcView predicts that 14 more states will legalize marijuana for recreational use, and two more will legalize pot for medical use. Currently, at least 10 states are contemplating the legalization of medical marijuana in the next two years either through their legislatures or ballot measures.

Four states have legalized retail marijuana: Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington. In Washington, D.C., voters legalized the use of recreational marijuana, but sales are still illegal. According to Wikipedia, Portland, Maine, has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana. Although marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, twenty-three states have legalized it for medical use.

Click here to read about legalization thus far in the United States.

According to the report, by 2019, all of the legal marijuana markets combined may be worth an incredible $11 billion per year.

The report also explores some trends in the country. For example, California has the largest legal cannabis market in the nation, coming in at $1.3 billion. Arizona has the fastest-growing major marijuana market for the year 2014, raking in $155 million—an increase of $120 million from the year before. Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona and California, and recreational use will likely appear on 2016 ballots in those states.

Over 1.5 million shoppers bought their pot from a dispensary, either recreational or medical, in 2014. Five states now have markets that are in excess of $100 million. In Colorado and Washington, $370 million in marijuana products was purchased last year.

Oklahoma and Nebraska have filed a suit in the Supreme Court over marijuana’s legalization.

Oregon and Alaska anticipate adding $275 million between the two in retail marijuana sales for just the first year of operation. D.C.’s market cannot be predicted since Republicans are attempting to block the new law.

Of course, the growth potential may be limited by the states’ rejection of becoming more lenient with drug laws. The total market value of all states legalizing marijuana could be in excess of $36.8 billion—that’s $3 billion more than the organic food market.

Dayton said, “These are exciting times, and new millionaires and billionaires are about to be made, while simultaneously society will become safer and freer.”

Source: Huffington Post

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