If more states get on board with legalizing recreational and medical marijuana, the weed industry could have an impact of up to $44 billion in the U.S. economy by 2020, according to a report by the Marijuana Business Daily.
In 2016, the industry is estimated to contribute between $14 and $17 billion. Four years form now, marijuana could fuel between $24 and $44 billion into the economy, the report
The figures come from the industry's overall contribution, such as licensing fees, tax revenue, and retail sales.
The projections reflect marijuana’s march towards the mainstream as it emerges from the shadows to become a respectable, above-board industry that is giving birth to scores of jobs, fostering new business opportunities and creating a broad ripple effect across the country.
“We’re witnessing the emergence of a business that is about to become a massive economic force,” said Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily. “These figures, which we deem conservative, show not only how important the industry already is to the U.S economy at large, but also how much more important it is about to become.”
This election cycle, Arizona, California, and Nevada are among the handful of states that could vote to legalize recreational weed, while Ohio voters will decide the fate of medical cannabis in the state.
Colorado and Washington state legalized weed in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and D.C. legalized it in 2014.