In 2018, cannabis remains to be an illegal product in the United States under federal law despite the passing of legislation in multiple states legalizing its use both for medical and recreational purposes. Nine states in the union and the District of Columbia have allowed the use of recreational cannabis while 30 others have legalized its use for medical purposes. All these developments have taken place despite a perceived an administration that has been perceived to be hostile taking the reins of power last year in January. More states are have shown interest to legislate or are in the process of passing legalization laws for medical and recreational cannabis. Marijuana has transformed into a multi-billion dollar business industry in the United States and other countries like Canada.
In 2017 alone, marijuana sales were more than $9 billion according to the managing director of BDS Analytics, Tom Adams. BDS Analytics is a company that has taken on the endeavor of tracking the pot industry in the US. This revenue is equivalent to the annual revenue collected from Pampers diapers or the whole snack bar industry. All that was before recreational marijuana became legal in the state of California on January 1, 2018. The addition of the most populous and affluent state in all of the US is extremely significant for the pot industry, and it is estimated that the national sales of cannabis may inflate to over $11 billion in 2018 and go all the way up to $21 billion by the end of 2021. The industry has also created numerous opportunities for investors and thousands of jobs for the working American population.
As of today, there are over 9,000 marijuana licenses that are currently active in the United States according to a statistic released by the chief information officer for Cannabiz Media, Ed Keating. Cannabiz Media tracks the number of marijuana licenses that have been issued to pot businesses in the US which include but not limited to test labs, deliverers, distributors, dispensaries, retailers, manufacturers and cultivators. The cannabis industry has created over 100,000 employment opportunities, and the number is expected to inflate even further according to BDS Analytics. For instance, the pot industry created 127,000 jobs in 2017 alone. BDS Analytics predicts that the industry will have employed about 292,000 Americans by the end of 2021 if the growth trajectory experienced in the last year does not change. The industry in the states that have legalized both medical and recreational pot has generated revenue for the state governments in the form of state taxes valued at hundreds of millions of dollars.