Chart: US marijuana industry’s economic impact could hit $80 billion by 2022

The U.S cannabis industry could pump nearly $80 billion on an annual basis into the nation’s economy by 2022, a staggering figure that highlights the true reach of the marijuana industry.

This data is particularly valuable to marijuana businesses looking to show the benefits of legalization to legislators and policymakers.

That’s because it can help them understand the importance of the cannabis industry to the larger U.S. economy – and how much more important it will become.

Estimates published in the newly released Marijuana Business Factbook show the total economic impact of legal marijuana sales increasing from $20 billion-$23 billion in 2017 to $63 billion-$77 billion by 2022 – a 223% increase.

By comparison, the $77 billion figure is similar to the 2017 gross domestic product of New Hampshire, which stands at $81 billion, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The estimates reflect the marijuana industry’s rapid transition out of the black market and into a mainstream economic juggernaut, generating thousands of new jobs, providing business opportunities and creating significant ripple effects across the country.

Based on sales of medical and recreational marijuana at the retail level – including flower, infused products and concentrates – the estimates use an economic multiplier of 3.5 to quantify the industry’s overall contribution to the economy, showing how revenue generated by cannabis businesses permeates through communities, cities, states and the nation.

In other words, for every $1 consumers/patients spend at dispensaries and rec stores, an additional $2.50 of economic value will be injected into the economy – much of it at the local level.

Following are examples of how marijuana businesses affect the economy:

  • Tourists visit rec states to purchase and consume cannabis, while marijuana business professionals travel for meetings, conferences and market research – infusing tourism dollars into a state.
  • The creation of cultivation sites, dispensaries/rec shops and infused product companies spurs real estate and construction activity. Many grows, for instance, occupy warehouse space that was previously vacant, while a fair share of retailers took over and renovated dilapidated storefronts.
  • Marijuana businesses collectively pay hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local taxes, which fund projects including roads and rural hospitals and government programs such as education.

Eli McVey can be reached at [email protected]

4 comments on “Chart: US marijuana industry’s economic impact could hit $80 billion by 2022
  1. Eric Layland on

    Another consideration is how the cannabis economy is having a positive impact by bringing people into the general economy who otherwise might not be. For example, individuals who were active participants in the black market can get living wage jobs. They’re no longer outsiders to the mainstream economy and can apply their skills in grow operations, retailing, production, budtending, etc. These individuals gain stability in their lives with jobs that previously would not have been generating tax revenue. Stable living-wage income generally leads to more stable home lives. A significant portion of the people employed by the cannabis economy can contribute where previously they may have not been inclined to.

  2. Brett Roper on

    Great story and outlook! Now we just need to insure the wholesale and retail underpinnings supporting this prognostication are not over/under stated or estimated. One only has to look at the more mature markets here in the US to see the impact of such time sensitive competitive pressures (Colorado, Oregon, and Washington come to mind).

    Colorado has seen retail remain somewhat stable this year but wholesale pricing drop dramatically for flower and useable trim material (in early 2014 pounds were fetching $3,500 (+/-) while today they fetch $800 (+/-) for indoor grown materials) based upon several variables including bulk purchases, reputation for quality, known suppliers, known purchaser/retailers, etc..

    Its a great time to be alive and in this industry.

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