The legal marijuana industry is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, according to the 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook recently published by Marijuana Business Daily.
2016, a banner year for the marijuana industry
When it was all said and done, the legal American marijuana industry hauled in an estimated $4 billion to $4.5 billion in 2016. That represents a jump of more than 30 percent over 2015 sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States.
Business Insider put those sales numbers in perspective, telling that the marijuana industry outpaced “Viagra and Cialis, paid music streaming services, tequila, and Girl Scout cookies” in 2016.
That’s a lot of Thin Mints.
What’s more, if the legal marijuana industry continues at its current clip, it will likely sprint past frozen pizza and ice cream sales soon.
More record-breaking in 2017?
Even on the low end, if projections are correct, 2017 will far surpass 2016 in the total amount of legal marijuana sales. The Factbook puts its estimate between $5.1 billion and $6.1 billion for the year. Casting an eye toward 2021, the legal marijuana industry could get as high as $17.1 billion thanks to recreational market additions such as California and Nevada.
Legacy legal markets will continue to grow in their own right this year, says the Factbook, and Nevada’s July recreational launch will probably boost overall sales numbers sharply. This growth comes despite lingering uncertainty about how the Donald Trump administration will treat the marijuana industry.
Additional marijuana industry trends
Paul Ausick over at 24/7 Wall Street parsed out some additional findings from the Factbook. Of them, he notes:
- Investment deals in the industry are growing bigger, happening more frequently, and are larger in scope than before. 2017 could see more capital enter the market than ever before...combined.
- The cultivation portion of the market is getting saturated, especially in long-tenured legal states. This trend will likely push wholesale prices downward.
- Profits are longer in the making across the marijuana industry: “a year ago 70 percent of retailers said they broke even or made a profit in their first year of operation. That number fell to 55 percent in this year’s survey.”