Despite being federally illegal, cannabis has taken the United States by storm. The drug is now legal for medicinal use in as many as 33 states and for recreational purposes in 10.
Besides generating $52 billion in sales (2018), the industry is expected to post a 76% increase in cannabis jobs this year.
Given below are a few facts about the cannabis industry in the US that are sure to make your jaw drop:
The cannabis industry employs 5 times as many Americans as the coal industry
At least 250,000 people are presently employed in the cannabis industry – and these are just the people who are directly involved with handling marijuana plants, suggests a report from New Frontier Data, a cannabis data-analysis and market-research firm.
On the other hand, the coal industry employed just 52,300 people in 2018.
A County in Colorado made a whopping $35 million off marijuana in 2016
According to a report published in the Denver Post, Pueblo County in Colorado generated roughly $58 million in revenue through cannabis sales in 2016. Removing the additional costs of law enforcement and social services, which total to $23 million, Pueblo made a profit of nearly $35 million.
This is quite a surprising figure considering the fact that Pueblo County’s population is no more than 200,000.
The cannabis industry could soon surpass the GDP of a few US States
The legal cannabis industry’s economic impact in the US was between $20 billion and $23 billion in 2017, reports Marijuana Business Factbook. MBF also projects that the economic impact could reach as high as $77 billion by 2022.
These numbers are comparable to the GDPs of West Virginia and Idaho – both, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, were just a tick over $77 billion last year. Furthermore, if the cannabis economic impact reaches the projected figure in 2022, it will surpass the GDP’s of North and South Dakota, Alaska and Delaware.
Investors poured over $10 billion into the North American cannabis industry in 2018
A report by news agency The Associated Press says that entrepreneurs invested over $10 billion in the North American marijuana industry last year.
Notably, this figure is twice the total amount invested in 2015, ’16 and ’17 combined. Experts suggest that the number could increase to $16 billion in 2019.
The median marijuana salary is 10% higher than the US median salary
As per Glassdoor, the median salary in the marijuana industry, in 2018, was $58,511. In the same year, the median salary for US workers as a whole was calculated at $52,863. That’s, in fact, a difference of 10.7%!
Sales of legal marijuana were more than those of Oreo and Organic produce combined!
Reportedly, $6 billion worth of legal marijuana was sold in the year 2017. Interestingly, the figure is more than the combined sales of organic produce ($4.8 billion) and Oreo ($700 million).
‘Marijuana policing’ cost Americans $3.6 billion from 2001-2010
Over 8 million people were arrested in the US in the first decade of 2000s, according to American Civil Liberties Union Data. Thus, the US government spent nearly $3.6 billion on law-enforcement costs.