The legal marijuana industry (medical and recreational) is the fastest growing industry in the United States and if the legalization trend continues to spread throughout the country, marijuana could become larger than the organic food industry, according to a recent report.
The ArcView Group, a marijuana industry investment and research firm, found that the U.S.’s legal marijuana market grew 74 percent in 2014 to $2.7 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2013.
“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,” stated Troy Dayton, CEO of The ArcView Group. “At this point, it’s hard to imagine that any serious businessperson who is paying attention hasn’t spent some time thinking about the possibilities in this market.”
The report also projects a strong year for legalized marijuana in 2015 and projects 32 percent growth in the industry. Dayton noted that that places “cannabis in the top spot” when compared with other fast growing industries.
The report also reveals some interesting marijuana trends: California has the largest legal marijuana market in the U.S., at $1.3 billion. Arizona has the fastest growing marijuana market in 2014, expanding to $155 million, up more than $120 million from the previous year. Medical marijuana is already legalized in Arizona and California and recreational legalization measures are expected to appear on 2016 ballots in both states.
Over the next five years, the marijuana industry is expected to continue to grow. Research firms have predicted that 14 more states will legalize recreational marijuana and at least two more states will legalize medical marijuana. There are about 10 states already considering legalizing recreational marijuana in the next two years through state legislatures or ballot measures.
To date, four states – Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — have legalized recreational marijuana use. Washington, D.C. voters also legalized recreational marijuana use, but sales are currently banned. Twenty-three states currently have medical marijuana legalized.