The Growth of Cannabis Industry

If you are looking for a good dispensary near me, then you will be overjoyed to know that the marijuana industry is booming in the United States.

Out of the $52 billion in sales the industry there has been a 75% increase this year in the marijuana industry. There are plenty of statistics to show marijuana’s startling contributions to the US economy.

In the past years, Marijuana initiatives have swept through state legislatures. Recreational marijuana use is legal in 10 US states, while medicinal marijuana is legal in 33. Illinois became the most recent state to weigh the topic when Gov. JB Pritzker introduced a bill to legalize the drug on Saturday.

Currently, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down. A good thing for cannabis enthusiasts and anyone employed in this field!

Full-time jobs within the industry are expanding

In the year 2021, the cannabis industry employs between 125,000 to 160,000 full-time workers, according to Marijuana Business Daily. It’s expected to add another 340,000 full time jobs by 2022, reflecting an estimated growth of 21 percent per year.

Those careers run the gamut, from individuals who are growing plants to those who work for “ancillary businesses” that don’t involve coming into direct contact with weed, such as providing legal services.

Recreational sales are legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. In Washington, D.C., adults over 21 can legally possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, grow up to six cannabis plants in their home or give away up to one ounce of marijuana to another person who is at least 21. Sales are not legal in the nation’s capital.

Maine permits recreational marijuana, and state lawmakers are pushing for legislation to establish a regulated market. More and more states are legalizing the business and the number of dispensaries near me is growing.

Cannabis usage statistics

According to the surveys made in 2019, 12% of Americans identified as current users of cannabis in any form. This is currently down slightly from 13% in 2016.

From 2013 to 2016, the number of people who use marijuana nearly doubled. Since then, the rate of use has stayed relatively flat. 22% of Americans aged 18 – 25 say that they used marijuana in the past month.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse shows lower numbers compared to Gallup for their most recent survey (2018). That survey has 8.6% of individuals over 26 years of age identifying as having used marijuana in the past month (which correlates to the Gallup criteria for being a current user). This number is up from 7.9% in their 2017 study.

Meanwhile, 22.1% of 18 – 25-year-olds say they’ve used marijuana in the past month. Half of all people over 18 have used marijuana in their lifetime.

Cannabis consumers diversified (though gender is nearing 50/50). The cannabis consumers also continue to diversify.

The 2020 report from Eaze, a cannabis delivery service in the San Francisco Bay Area, shows the divide in gender disappearing, especially in the boomer age group.

Interesting facts about the industry

Marijuana, or cannabis, is now legal for recreational use in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and for medical use only in 22 states. When looking for the best dispensary near me, we can freely say that there is plenty of choice.

But because it’s still classified by the federal government as a Schedule I substance, regarded as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical value, businesses and local governments in those states have largely had to forge their own paths in regulating and researching the long-illicit drug for recreational and medical markets.

The product’s novelty and complicated legal standing make this an industry like no other at present, so let’s dive into some of the most interesting trends and statistics to come out of the nation’s booming new cannabis business.

Decline in violent crimes

The decline in arrest rates due to marijuana legalization doesn’t come at the cost of public safety, studies have shown. Incidents of violent crime, particularly robbery and murder, declined by an average of 13% following medical marijuana legalization in southern border states, where illicit drug markets have historically been controlled by Mexican cartels, according to the Center for American Progress. Colorado saw a 6% drop in violent crime following full legalization.

Health benefits

Contrary to its Schedule I designation, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found conclusive or substantial evidence that cannabis is effective in treatment of chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. There’s also moderate or limited evidence it can improve outcomes in patients with sleep disturbances, HIV-associated weight loss, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety disorders.

Branding is on the rise

In 2014 — the first fully legal year for cannabis sales in Colorado, the first fully legal state — specific brands accounted for 19% of the state’s market. By 201, brand share had surged to 38%. The trend toward branded pot is even stronger for edibles, as the top 5 brands owned more than 40% of the edible market in Colorado as well as Washington, Oregon, and California.

Edibles are getting more popular

Cannabis enthusiasts are eating rather than smoking their weed more than ever before under legalization. Revenue from flower (or dried cannabis) sales fell below 50% of the market for legal cannabis for the first time in 2017, implying that consumers are willing to pay higher prices for healthier consumption methods. In Oregon and Colorado, the market share of edibles rose to 24% between January and August of 2018, and some specific edibles products saw even more explosive growth. For instance, according to BDS Analytics, chocolate edibles saw a growth of 135% in Colorado during the same time period. 

The usage of CBD

Most of the health benefits of cannabis use can be linked to compounds called cannabinoids, or CBD for short. CBD can be extracted and isolated from THC, marijuana’s main psychoactive compound, to make oils and tinctures for patients who want the anti-inflammatory or relaxant properties of the drug without feeling stoned. These CBD products are widely available in legalized states and used as home remedies for nausea, anxiety, acne, chronic pain, and even epilepsy.

The biggest challenges in 2022

Despite that growth, the global COVID-19 pandemic created a major upheaval in the cannabis industry in 2021, and the industry faces major challenges in 2022.

As the industry grows, it has to adapt to a fast-changing, complex legal landscape. Cannabis companies’ challenge is that different states within the U.S. as well as different countries have varying laws applying to the legality, use, distribution, and growth of cannabis.

As the legal cannabis industry continues to mature, more established companies outside of the industry are expanding their foothold. The so-called “addiction” industries – alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceuticals – have been heavily investing in the cannabis market. They have been acquiring many companies with the intent of selling cannabis en masse as they do their own products. This trend could dramatically transform the cannabis industry.

While the U.S. market remains highly complicated for cannabis companies and investors. As of December 2021, only 18 out of 50 states have now fully legalized marijuana use. This limited legality exists even though most Americans think that marijuana should be legal for recreational or medical use, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center conducted in April 2021. As many as 60% think it should be legal for both recreational and medical use, while 31% think it should be legal for medical use only.

Lobbying for federal legalization of marijuana picked up earlier this year. Banks, tobacco and alcohol companies, and other corporations have joined union advocates, personal-use supporters, and social-justice activists in pushing for federal legalization.

Though the cannabis industry is growing and its use is becoming more accepted in society, it faces major challenges to its growth. These trends also will create a volatile and fast-changing environment both for investors and cannabis companies in 2022. For investors, the big challenge will be deciding which of the scores of startups, IPOs, and established cannabis companies can surmount the upheaval and succeed long term.

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