If the United States government would simply allow marijuana to be taxed and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco, the population would likely purchase more legal cannabis products than ice cream, according to the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook.
There is some serious demand for marijuana in the Land of the Free.
Some of the latest data indicates that the need for pot, if you include the underground dealings of the black market, is somewhere around $50 billion. This means there is probably already more people buying weed than ice cream, considering the market for the frozen treat only rakes in a little over $5 billion per year.
To put this situation in perspective, Forbes points out that the sale of legal marijuana alone is blowing away several other lucrative pieces of North American commerce, including national movie ticket sales and snacks, like Doritos and Cheetos.
The report suggests that with this kind of power, it is conceivable, and highly likely, that legal weed will have no trouble whatsoever putting the squeeze on the profits of alcohol and tobacco, when the times comes for it to be embraced by the whole of civil society.
“On the recreational side of the business, the original legalized states are still posting massive growth,” said Chris Walsh, editor for Marijuana Business Daily, the publication responsible for the report. “The demand for marijuana is so enormous in this country.”
Despite the fact that marijuana remains illegal in a large portion of the country, the cannabis industry is not having any trouble proving that it is a force to be reckoned with.
In addition to pulling in the mega-bucks, the report found that cannabis cultivation sites, dispensaries and other companies specializing in legal weed are now employing in upwards of 230,000 people nationwide. This means there are now more workers earning a living from the sale of legal marijuana than there are bakers, massage therapists and dental hygienists.
The economic impact of marijuana legalization has the potential to definitely make America great again, but President Donald Trump’s administrations has signaled that it could lean on federal law and bring all of this pot-producing progress to a screeching halt.
The report found that, while marijuana-related businesses are moving ahead as though the industry will be here tomorrow, there is still a great deal of concern that Trump’s Justice Department might swoop in and take it all away.
If that happens, it is possible that some cannabis communities could experience a recession.
Not only would Trump be putting an end to the sale of legal weed, but he would also be taking food out of the mouths of all the people working in unaffiliated industries, like the construction and hospitality sectors, that have, too, greatly benefited from legalization in their neck of the woods.
You can keep up with all of HIGH TIMES’ marijuana news right here.
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