CALIFORNIA: The legal pot business in the United States, including both the newly legalized retail operations in Washington and Colorado and the medical-marijuana use now allowed in California and 22 other states, is expected to grow this year to $2.6 billion from $1.5 billion in 2013, according to the ArcView Group, a San Francisco-based marijuana research and investment firm. In five years, that number could swell to more than $10 billion. And if backers are successful in getting a legalization measure on the 2016 ballot in California, the Golden State, with its already outsize medical-pot market, could soon be entering a Golden Era of commercialized cannabis.
Although the state in 1996 became the first in the nation to legalize pot for medicinal reasons, California has yet to approve it for the overall adult population, or so-called “adult-use.” Despite that, it has the largest pot market in the nation, according to a widely referenced report last year by ArcView.
“California remains the largest state market at $980 million, even without Adult Use regulations,” said the report. And “once Adult Use is adopted — which is likely by 2017 — the total California market is projected to increase dramatically.”