The marijuana business factbook has released data that alleges that the marijuana industry is set to boom. It published figures that purport an increase of five-fold in a five year time frame. This growth quantified will be an increase from an estimated $2.2-$2.6 billion in the current year to $7.4-8.2 billion by 2018. These figures include both medical and recreational marijuana sales. They also account for the addition of an estimated four to five more states passing legislation for medical and/or recreational cannabis usage.
While figures for this year are exactly in line with predictions the lift that is predicted in sales by 2018 is due to the passing of the Cole Memorandum in August. The memorandum by the Federal Department of Justice simply claims a hands off approach to the marijuana industry, though local and state regulations must be adhered to and oversight must be strict.
After this statement from the Federal Department of Justice estimates have increased though it has been noted that they are still quite conservative. The estimates do not account for wholesale cannabis sales nor the multiple ancillary ‘cannabusiness’ and their revenues such as equipment, real estate, etc. It also doesn’t account for the future of marijuana payment processing which is set to expand largely as currently cash is the only method of payment accepted in dispensaries. All of these factors could potentially account for billions more in revenue. Additionally with the predicted addition of four or five more recreational states and two or three medical cannabis states sales will skyrocket.
Currently recreational marijuana sales are legal in merely two states. Though with the predicted additions of four to five more states, 2018 is likely to be the first year that recreational marijuana sales match or even exceed medical marijuana sales in the United States.
None of the figures or estimates include the black market sales of marijuana. It is estimated that the black market has sales figures that are close to $40 billion. This illustrates far reaching potential for the industry beyond 2018. Another note on the future potential of the medical or recreational marijuana industry is that many consumers who currently use the black market have indicated that they would willingly change to a legal dispensary or marijuana supplier when it becomes available in their area.