According to a recent report by ArcView Market Research, the legal cannabis industry has been “growing in double digits” annually since 2013. In that time, marijuana has become a worldwide phenomenon, with recreational use permitted in some countries and regions including Canada, California, Israel, Spain, and much of Latin America.
The cannabis craze is sweeping across the country and its effect is being felt in many different ways. The cannabis dispensary industry has been one of the fastest growing industries in America. As such, it has increased employment rates and contributed over $68 million to the US GDP. An additional $67 million was spent on marijuana-related tourism.
While the cannabis industry is becoming a major job provider across America, one of the most important aspects is how well marijuana can help people manage their chronic pain. Studies have shown that marijuana is a much safer alternative to prescription drugs when it comes to treating pain.
Today’s cannabis marketplace is still in its infancy. With uncertainty on so many levels, such as federal regulations and banking laws, it’s hard to get a good picture of what the industry is really like. However, here are five crazy facts about the cannabis industry that might shock you.
#1 The marijuana industry could soon be worth more than the GDP of 9 US states
As more states legalize marijuana, the marijuana industry is growing at an incredible rate. According to Marijuana Business Daily’s (MBD) Factbook 2018, the legal-marijuana industry grew by 34 percent in 2017 and projects that growth of more than 30 percent in 2018 will bring the industry’s economic impact worth between $20 billion and $23 billion. The legalization of medical marijuana in 29 states and Washington, DC has led to cannabis being sold in a licensed dispensary in 20 states. The majority of the states are projected to approve recreational cannabis use in the next few years.
#2 Cannabis employs five times as many Americans as coal
According to a new report released by New Frontier Data, a data analytics firm that specializes in the cannabis industry, the legal cannabis industry employs between 165,000 to 230,000 full- and part-time workers. That sounds like a lot – and it is. In fact it is more than five times the number of people employed by the US coal mining industry.
The cannabis industry, which includes cultivation, processing and sales, among other things, has created an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 jobs. That’s more than the number of people employed by companies in the US coal mining industry , according to 2015 figures from the National Mining Association. The number doesn’t include indirect jobs created by the influx of spending on goods and services tied to cannabis, like construction jobs building a dispensary.
#3 The median marijuana salary is 10% higher than the US median salary
The median marijuana salary is 10% higher than the US median salary. In other words, if you were to select a random US worker, there’s a greater chance he or she would make more than a random marijuana worker. The typical job posting in the marijuana industry offers a starting salary around $30K.
On the other hand, the median salary in Canada is $48,898, which is 8.7% higher than the median salary in the US.
#4 Investors poured $10 billion into the North American marijuana industry in 2018
Experts project that number will shoot up to $16 billion this year. The investment total represents money moved into businesses operating in one way or another outside U.S. federal law, according to data compiled by New Frontier Data which tracks deals-making in the industry.”If you look at states where it’s legal, like Colorado, over the last three years the jobs numbers are through the roof, because you need all these workers to grow and supply cannabis,” said Glenn Robinson, head of U.S. operations for Canada’s Aurora Cannabis – a major investor in a half-dozen partnerships with companies ranging from beverage makers to clothing designers to software developers.
The rapid growth comes as more states move to legalize marijuana, resulting in a flood of deliveries to dispensaries and greenhouses to grow the plants. State-legal sales climbed 33% last year to $11.7 billion.
#5 The US marijuana market is worth $52 billion — but 87% of sales were on the black market
Black market marijuana sales still dwarf legal sales. In total, the US had an estimated $46 billion market for marijuana, according to a report from Arcview Market Research. State-sanctioned marijuana sales were just $755 million in 2016, accounting for less than 4% of the $46 billion market. And Americans spent another $3.5 billion on marijuana edibles and concentrates, which can be found in most dispensaries. If sales of marijuana continue to grow on pace with the rest of the economy, it could become a $75 billion industry by 2025.
The cannabis industry has grown into something that is downright incredible. And while this sounds like a very specific niche, it’s actually affecting almost every demographic in one way or another. Consider how many people in your life you know who are using cannabis for medical reasons, to treat chronic pain, mental health issues, insomnia, cancer treatments and so on. And beyond the medicinal use of the plant, there is also the recreational side of things. Maybe it’s not quite business-y yet, but you know you would love to get in at the ground level of what could become an insane multi-billion dollar industry.