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8 Facts About the Booming $52B Cannabis Industry

8 Facts About the Booming $52B Cannabis Industry

Cannabis has quickly become big business in the U.S., which includes $52 billion in sales and a 76% increase in jobs this year, and business is just getting started.

Recreational use is now legal in 10 states, and medicinal is legal in 33. Just this week, Illinois became the most recent state to weigh the topic after Gov. JB Pritzker introduced a legalization bill.

Here are eight interesting tidbits about the cannabis industry, via Markets Insider:

The marijuana industry could soon be worth more than the GDP of 9 US states

Marijuana Business Factbook estimates the legal-marijuana industry’s economic impact in the U.S. 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

New Frontier Data, a cannabis market-research and data-analysis firm, estimates that the U.S. 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 U.S. steel and iron mills.

The median marijuana salary is 10% higher than the US median salary

The median salary in the marijuana industry was $58,511 in 2018, while the median salary for U.S. workers as a whole was $52,863, according to Glassdoor data. That’s a difference of 10.7%.

Investors poured $10 billion into the North American marijuana industry in 2018

Investors poured more than $10 billion into the North American marijuana industry in 2018, according to the Associated Press. That’s twice the total amount invested in the previous three years.

And experts project that number will shoot up to $16 billion this year.

A Colorado county made $35 million off the marijuana industry in 2016

Researchers at Colorado State University-Pueblo found last year that in 2016, the marijuana industry had an economic impact of $58 million in Pueblo County, according to the Denver Post. Added costs from the industry, like law enforcement and social services, totaled $23 million, meaning the county made out with $35 million that year.

That’s not a bad profit, considering Pueblo County is home to fewer than 200,000 residents.

Marijuana policing cost Americans $3.6 billion in the first decade of the 2000s

Between 2001 and 2010, there were more than 8 million marijuana arrests in the U.S., according to American Civil Liberties Union data.

To enforce those marijuana laws, the U.S. spent approximately $3.6 billion on law-enforcement costs.

The US marijuana market is worth $52 billion — but 87% of sales were on the black market

The U.S. had an estimated $52 billion market for marijuana in 2016, according to a report from Arcview Market Research.

But legal marijuana sales made up just $6.2 billion of that in the eight states with fully legalized marijuana and 28 medical marijuana states.

The rest of the nearly $46 billion was comprised from sales on the black market, meaning 87% of marijuana sales that year were illegal.

But legal-marijuana sales alone topped sales of Oreos and organic produce

Marijuana Business Factbook estimates there were approximately $6 billion worth of legal-marijuana sales in 2017, which would be more than the combined sales of organic produce ($4.8 billion) and Oreos ($700 million).

The estimated total demand for marijuana, which is higher than $50 billion, was more than the $36 billion of video games and $19.9 billion of doughnuts sold in 2017.