This was pronounced even further by a recent study done by Marijuana Business Daily, where it was discovered that, if the U.S. government legalized marijuana federally, legal marijuana sales could be even bigger than ice cream!
Annual ice cream sales are only $5.1 billion. Total recreational cannabis sales in the U.S. at this estimate would also top movie ticket sales ($11.1 billion) and snacks like Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns ($4.9 billion.) The report says, “If the federal government legalized marijuana nationwide, sales might start out at around that level but would likely quickly rise as cannabis gained mainstream acceptance and the market evolved.” At that rate, it wouldn’t take long to eclipse cigarette sales and even potentially beer sales.
As it is, legal recreational and medical cannabis sales in 2016 were $4.0-$4.5 billion. This beats paid music streaming services at $2.5 billion and girl scout cookies at $776 million. “On the recreational side of the business, the originally legalized states are still posting massive growth,” said Editor Chris Walsh. “The demand for marijuana is so enormous in this country,” he added. Walsh thought demand might wane and that the novelty would wear off, but it hasn’t. Just the opposite, it keeps growing.
Also according to the study, the total consumer demand for marijuana in 2017 (including the black market) is estimated to reach $45-50 billion in sales (so legal marijuana sales could be even bigger than ice cream for sure at this rate!). For those of us living in legalized states, we can also see the amount of commerce that is created by all of the new jobs that the cannabis industry presents as sales become legalized and regulated, as well as the commerce created by all of the ancillary companies that begin to emerge with legalized cannabis policies.
It is essential that the industry band together, perhaps more now that ever, to ensure that we do indeed keep pushing forward with this movement. We will never know it’s true potential until we end federal cannabis prohibition for good.