The ArcView Group, a cannabis industry investment and research firm, came out with their 2015 State of Legal Marijuana Markets report this week, concluding that the legal cannabis industry is the fastest-growing industry in America.
“In the last year, the rise of the cannabis industry went from an interesting cocktail conversation to being taken seriously as the fastest growing industry in America,” Troy Dayton, CEO of ArcView, writes in his opening letter. “What a remarkably fast transformation!”
Cannabis sales in the U.S. totaled at $2.7 billion in 2014, according to the ArcView report, a 74 percent growth from $1.5 billion in 2013 based on consumer and wholesale sales.
Colorado, the epicenter of the marijuana industry, finished the year with $315 million in Adult Use sales and $490 million in Medical sales, covering 30 percent of all sales nationwide.
Cannabis sales projected at $10.8 billion by 2019
Despite continued resistance towards legalizing recreational use, California’s medical marijuana covered 49 percent of total sales with $1.3 billion.
According to ArcView Market Research (AMR), industry sales are estimated to reach $10.8 billion in 2019.
After a year that saw two new states (Oregon and Alaska) and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C, pass Adult Use legislation during the mid-term elections, the AMR report predicts that 14 additional states will do so by 2020, and they believe 10 will pass legislation within the next two years.
It is also expected that by the end of 2016, the total number of states with medical marijuana legislation will grow by two, totaling 25 states and the District of Columbia, or nearly half of the country.
While the District of Columbia passed Adult Use legislation during their mid-term elections that has failed to yet take effect, Oregon and Alaska have the potential to contribute $275 million in Adult Use sales by 2017, according to AMR.
Federal raids on cannabis operations also fell in 2014
The report also pointed out non-statistical national progress, pointing to Deputy Attorney General James Cole taking a formal pro-cannabis stance in the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2014, federal raids on dispensaries and grow operations fell drastically under Cole’s guidance.
ArcView went on to mention the most important win in cannabis legalization history took place with this past December’s Congressional “cromnibus” spending bill that passed and ended the federal government’s ability to spend money to interfere with state’s that have their own Medical or Adult Use laws in place.
The report does, however, state that cannabis’s Schedule 1 categorization by the federal government continues to stand as the largest obstacle for those in the industry.
“My company does tens of millions of dollars of business a year and can’t get a $10,000 line of credit from a bank,” Harborside Health Center CEO and CBE’s fourth most influential person in 2014’s CBE 100, Steve DeAngelo said.
[Read the official executive summary here]
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