Legal Marijuana Is Fastest Growing Industry In The US

By R. Siva Kumar - 26 Jan '15 20:09PM

Last year, the US market for legal cannabis shot up by 74 percent, which has made it one of the quickest-growing industries, perhaps more than organic food, says a new study by researchers from a marijuana research firm, the ArcView Group, in their third edition of the State of Legal Marijuana Markets.

The researchers recorded that the market for legal cannabis was $2.7 billion last year, up from $1.5 billion in 2013, according to

The team foresees that the collective market value within the states that have made marijuana legal could touch $11 billion annually in the next four years.

This year, there would be a 32 percent growth so that marijuana can remain "in the top spot" of the market. Right now, the four states, ie Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, have legalized retail marijuana.

Even as cannabis is available for medical use in 23 states and Washington D.C., and full legalization is in the process of being voted in Alaska and Oregon, the marijuana industry may expand to reach $2.6 billion from about $1.5 billion this year. Even if the drug becomes fully lawful in all the 50 states, it could overshoot the market worth of the organic food industry, which is currently under $50 billion.

"In the last year, the rise of the cannabis industry went from an interesting cocktail conversation to being taken seriously as the fastest growing industry in America," said Troy Dayton, ArcView Group CEO. "At this point, it's hard to imagine that any serious businessperson who is paying attention hasn't spent some time thinking about the possibilities in this market."

Right now, Colorado is the "new epicenter" of the cannabis industry, with $805 million total for "retail, medical and wholesale".

While California is the legal marijuana market leader, with $1.3 billion, various states are trying to join the race. Arizona, has the fastest-growing marijuana market in 2014, rising to $155 million, which exceeds the $120 million in 2013.

While the medical use of marijuana is legal in both Arizona and California, the legal processes to legitimize "recreational cannabis" will be featured in the 2016 ballots of both states.

"These are exciting times," Dayton said in the executive summary, "and new millionaires and possibly billionaires are about to be made, while simultaneously society will become safer and freer."

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