According to a new report in Business insider, there is a boom currently7 in the legal marijuana market in the U.S. – so much so that it is fast catching up with the market for beer and wine.
“The legal cannabis category [in the U.S.] is set to grow at a 17% CAGR over the next decade to as much as $47 billion in annual sales (this compares to the current diaper category at $4 billion in sales),” RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi wrote in the company’s note to clients sent out on Wednesday and reported in the news website.
The growth in the sale of marijuana is primarily driven by increased use of recreational marijuana. And in that segment the products that are most popular are those that are edibles and concentrates. According to the estimates of RBC, the value of the sale of legal and illegal marijuana in the US alone was about $50 billion. Now compare that with the total; sale of wine in the US which is at $65 billion, cigarettes at $77 billion, and beer at $117 billion.
So far, nine states in the US have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It is expected that four more states would be implementing legalization of recreational marijuana this November if the concerned ballot supports them. Additionally, 30 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
“We believe further US decriminalization of cannabis including for recreational use is very likely over time,” RBC said, according to the Business Insider report. “It ultimately starts with US voters who across demographics are supportive of cannabis legalization.”
According to the Drug Policy Alliance, it was in the early 1990s that anti-marijuana laws were introduced in the United States. The aim of those regulations were Mexican migrants and Mexican Americans in the Southwest and Midwest. Later, the federal government also included the prohibition on the use of marijuana in the 1980s. There was also notable increase in the number of detention and imprisonment related pot the use of marijuana with the increase in prohibition. The number of people who were incarcerated in the US for nonviolent drug offenses skyrocketed from 50,000 to more than 400,000 between 1980 and 1997.
Currently, the black or Latino accounts for about 57 per cent of the people who are behind bars in the US for drug related offences and more than $50 billion annually is spend by the US administration in financing the war on drugs.
With the growth in economy surrounding marijuana, there has also been growth in popularity in the legislation in favor of decriminalization. According to a Gallup poll, the support for legalization has reached a record high with 64% of Americans in favor of it.
(Adapted from Fortune.com)