Legal marijuana will pump almost $70 billion a year into the U.S. economy in four years, according to a study released this week in the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017.
The report shows the total economic impact of marijuana regulation to rise from $18 billion in 2016 to $68 billion by 2021 – a jump of 241 percent.
According to a report in the Marijuana Business Daily, a leading resource for the cannabis industry:
For each dollar spent by marijuana patients/customers at the retail level, an additional $3 in economic benefit is realized – much of it at the local level.
The report demonstrates some ways the industry affects the economy:
- Wages paid to employees of cannabis companies benefit many other local businesses, given that workers spend a portion of their earnings to buy food from a grocery store or dine at a restaurant.
- Marijuana businesses collectively pay hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local taxes, which fund projects including roads and rural hospitals as well as government programs such as education.
- The launch of a new cannabis business – cultivation facilities, in particular – generate real estate and construction activity, often in economically disadvantaged areas of a town or municipality.
For years, economists and industry insiders have continually adjusted their economic forecasts to account for the skyrocketing growth of the market as more states move to legalize cannabis either for recreational or medicinal use.
Last November, four more states voted to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana and several more are either creating or updating medical programs allowing patients to access the herb.
As the Marijuana Business Daily notes:
Sales in existing medical and recreational markets have shown no signs of slowing. In Washington state and Colorado, for example, adult-use sales in the first two months of 2017 broke records.
In Oregon, nearly 12,500 jobs are associated with the cannabis industry.
According to a study conducted by economist Beau Whitney for the Oregon State House of Representatives Committee on Economic Development and Trade. Whitney estimates the economic impact in the state at $1.2 billion.