When New Jersey legalized marijuana in November 2020, the number of states and territories where recreational marijuana is legal rose to 15. Considering that Colorado and Washington, the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, did so not even 10 years ago in 2012, legalization of recreational marijuana is happening across the country at a steady pace.
Though the recreational marijuana market can be volatile – especially for smaller growers and retailers – it seems that what is driving legalization is equal parts of individual consumer desire for a joint or a “special” chocolate after dinner, as it is COVID-19 devastated states’ desire to access a previously untapped source of tax revenue.
And what a revenue source that is.
In Washington (as in other states) the marijuana industry is tightly regulated which means it’s easy to look up sales and tax numbers. The numbers in this story all come from www.502data.com.
Grow Op Farms in Spokane Valley is the largest producer and processor in Washington. In November 2020 its wholesale total was $41,889,602 – which means the state collected $4,411,348 in taxes from just one company.
In December, consumers purchased $18,253,993 worth of marijuana products across Spokane County. That breaks down to every resident spending just a little less than $40, according to 502data.com, and it brings the state just a tad bit less than $5 million in excise tax from one county, in one month.
Business investors were initially reluctant to invest in the cannabis industry. A couple of years ago, the industry went through an intense round of buying and selling, which consolidated ownership and weeded out the less viable growers and sellers.
It remains booming industry. The Motley Fool, an online investment tracking website, listed the top five 2019 marijuana markets by state in billions – yes, billions with a B.
• California, $3.1 billion (the largest market in the world)
• Colorado, $1.6 billion
• Washington, $1.1 billion
• Florida, $1 billion
• Michigan, $1 billion
The market shows no signs of slowing down, and some financial experts predict the value of the American market will grow from around $19 billion now to more than $40 billion by 2050. For comparison, the value of the American wine market today is estimated at around $75 billion.
Are you tired of numbers yet? Or just quietly contemplating if the future of the marijuana industry will look like high-tech bubble and burst of the early 2000s?
It’s difficult to know.
One thing is for certain: as the stigma of marijuana products wears off, the industry is responding with a steady stream of new products aimed at the non-smoker.
Products expected to trend in 2021 include many types of beauty and skincare products, as well as pain relieving ointments and cremes made with cannabis oil.
Beverages continue to evolve as well. A few California bars experimented with cannabis infused cocktails, but that brought on a regulatory nightmare.
There is already a large selection of infused beverages available at most cannabis retailers and you can expect that to grow to include more juice and fruit drinks, and maybe even beer.
Sweet treats such as hard candies, mints, chews, and chocolates continue to grow in popularity, and are beginning to show up on private dessert tables.
And finally, there is the pet market – as in the dog and cat treat market. Most veterinarians caution very strongly against the topical use of marijuana products on pets, but some pet owners experiment topical with oils for pet ailments such as arthritis and various skin conditions.
It’s important to remember that marijuana is poisonous to dogs and cats – pet products should only contain CDB, never THC (the psychedelic component in marijuana).
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