It now rivals Americans’ collective spending on Netflix subscriptions – and will likely surpass McDonald’s annual U.S. revenue now that California’s massive new legal industry is getting off the ground.
Continued growth in mature medical and recreational markets, legalization in new states and further development of recently launched MMJ and rec industries will be the primary drivers of growth for the U.S. marijuana industry over the coming years.
But legal sales represent just a fraction of the estimated total potential demand for cannabis in the United States, which is around $50 billion-$55 billion, including black-market demand. This is how much revenue the industry could generate if the federal government legalized marijuana nationwide.
This has caught the attention of alcohol and tobacco companies, as two major players from these industries – Constellation Brands and Alliance One International – recently made significant moves into the cannabis space.
Though marijuana’s status as a federally illegal substance creates uncertainty in the short term and will likely keep most mainstream companies on the sidelines, the tremendous potential for growth means the long-term outlook for the U.S. cannabis industry is bright.
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