The marijuana industry is growing so fast that if the government legalized it nationally it would outsell ice cream. A new report from Marijuana Business Daily estimates that the total demand for marijuana, including the black market, is $45-$50 billion.
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.
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