9 legal pot initiatives could add $7.8B to U.S. economy

9 legal pot initiatives could add $7.8B to U.S. economy

Jars of high-grade medical marijuana sit on the shelves of a Sacramento, Calif. medical marijuana dispensary.

“The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the economy and continues to astonish those in and out of the space,” Giadha DeCarcer, New Frontier’s CEO, said in a statement announcing the study.

New Frontier/Arcview earlier this year predicted the cannabis market would be worth about $22.8 billion by 2020, but revised the estimate down slightly as a result of better modeling and data, and after accounting for delays in some states getting their marijuana marketplaces operating. Twenty-five states now permit some form of medical marijuana use, while four – Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington – also permit recreational use. The District of Columbia also permits both medical and recreational use, but sales are prohibited and not taxed.

The dollars flowing into the California legalization initiative alone show the potential stakes: Proponents have raised more than $10 million to support the proposal, including $2.3 million from former Facebook president Sean Parker, while Pennsylvania retiree Julie Schauer donated $1.3 million in opposition. Polls show the California legalization effort with broad support in a state that has long tolerated medical use.

And barely a day goes by that entrepreneurs aren’t pitching the next big thing in marijuana, from smoke-free vaporizers to contaminant-testing equipment, and many well-known names have also entered the marketplace, including Willie Nelson, Whoopi Goldberg and the family of reggae star Bob Marley.

“Savvy investors looking to get into the cannabis market can look at these numbers and see the industry is on the cusp, ready to explode. We are already seeing an enormous amount of interest from investors and entrepreneurs who recognize the unique scale of the opportunity presented by cannabis legalization,” said Troy Dayton, the Arcview Group CEO.

Source – USA Today

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