What Will the Legal Cannabis Market Look like in 2020?

May 8, 2015

9:00 pm

There are plenty of folks out there who have likened the steadily growing legal cannabis market to the ‘.com boom’ of the 90s, and I’d be hard pressed to disagree with them. In fact, Yahoo! Finance author Meena Thiruvengadam today released a report about what the scope of the legal cannabis industry might look like by 2020 that only further strengthens this mentality.

Part of what will help the industry move forward is the elimination of the social stigma surrounding cannabis in general, and data like this is crucial to accomplishing that mission. For the majority of her post, Thiruvengadam references a study done by IBISWorld that provides strong data showing legal cannabis is nothing but good for our economy and country.

In total Thiruvengadam produced a list five different numbers that show just how big legal cannabis could be in the next five years:

  • $13.4 Billion: According to the article, this number is what the expected revenue will be by 2020. Additionally the numbers show that legal cannabis could produce $3.6 billion this year alone. It’ll be interesting to see how the further legalization for recreational use might affect this number in due time.
  • 12,128 Stores: Once again referencing IBISWorld, Thiruvengadam says that there are an “estimated 5,000 stores currently selling retail, recreational, or medical marijuana in the US”. Looking ahead though, IBISWorld is expecting that number to break the 12,000 mark by 2020.
  • 212,091 Employees: This is a category that could be greatly improved by data aggregation. According to Thiruvengadam it’s currently not easy to pinpoint how many jobs the industry has created, but “IBISWorld estimates 75,000 people will work in legal marijuana by the year’s end”. The figure listed here is what’s expected by 2020, but that could change given more growth in the market.
  • 18 States: ArcView has been a major player in helping states wade through the red tape of legalization efforts, and to date Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and DC have recreationally legalized cannabis: Puerto Rico also announced they would be decriminalizing medical marijuana recently as well. Thiruvengadam states that ArcView expects voters to have legalized recreational cannabis in 18 states by 2020. Further though, she quotes Brendan Kennedy, CEO of Privateer Holdings, as saying: “It’s very likely that the prohibition of retail cannabis will have ended by 2020,” he said. “The Berlin wall of cannabis prohibition is past the tipping point.”
  • Over $120 million in investment: Peter Thiel was the first domino to fall, and in his wake we’ve seen a lot of big investments into the legal cannabis market: Snoop Dogg came not long after (of course). It doesn’t take an expert to know that the trend is obviously going to keep growing as more places legalize cannabis.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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