Marijuana initiatives have swept through state legislatures in recent years. Recreational marijuana use is legal in 10 US states, while medicinal marijuana is legal in 33. Illinois became the most recent state to weigh the topic when Gov. JB Pritzker introduced a bill to legalize the drug on Saturday.
Now, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down.
Read on for eight interesting facts about the US marijuana industry:
The marijuana industry could soon be worth more than the GDP of 9 US states
Associated PressMarijuana Business Factbook estimates the legal-marijuana industry’s economic impact in the US was between $20 billion and $23 billion in 2017. It estimates the economic impact could reach as high as $77 billion by 2022.
Those numbers are comparable to the GDPs of Idaho and West Virginia, which were both a tick over $77 billion in 2018, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. And it’s worth more than the GDP of nine states, including Delaware, Alaska, and both North and South Dakota.
Cannabis employs five times as many Americans as coal
Associated PressNew Frontier Data, a cannabis market-research and data-analysis firm, estimates that the US cannabis industry employs at least 250,000 people. And those are just the jobs that are directly involved with handling marijuana plants – others in the industry are harder to quantify, a New Frontier economist told the Associated Press.
Compare that to the size of one of the staple blue-collar industries, coal mining, which employed 52,300 in 2018.
Another study estimated the marijuana industry would grow to at least 330,000 jobs by 2022, a higher number than the 268,000 employees at US steel and iron mills.
Published: May 10, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News