Cannabis cultivated in 2020 for state-legalized recreational (adult-use) markets possessed a wholesale harvest value of more than $6 billion, ranking the plant among the nation’s most valuable crops, according to a new analysis.
Nationwide, state-legal cannabis ranks fifth among America’s most valuable crops – trailing only corn, soybeans, hay, and wheat. In five states – Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon – cannabis grown for the adult-use market is the “single most valuable crop.”
Last year, 11 states licensed commercial marijuana growers to produce cannabis for the adult-use retail market. In those states, over 13,000 state-licensed farmers produced over 2,200 metric tons of cannabis, NORML noted.
“With US state cannabis prices ranging from about $500 to $3,000 per wholesale pound, you’re looking at a crop worth $6.175 billion per year,” the authors of the report estimated. “As measured against US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, the value of America’s legal cannabis crop ranks fifth nationwide, ahead of cotton.”
The authors conclused that by “refusing to recognize cannabis crops and cannabis farmers, the USDA ignores a fact that exists in plain sight: Cannabis is now a major agricultural commodity that supports thousands of American farmers, farm families, and farm communities.”