COLORADO: Over the last two decades we’ve witnessed Americans’ views on marijuana as a whole shift from an approval rate of 25%, per Gallup, to slightly more than 50% as of its most recent poll in 2014. Further, the states themselves have been willing to take on regulation of the marijuana industry despite the federal government maintaining it as a schedule 1, and therefore illicit, drug. Since 1996, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes (as well as Washington, D.C.), and four states (and Washington, D.C.) have legalized the drug across the board for recreational use as well.
Momentum within the marijuana industry is only expected to gain steam. In 2014, the Colorado marijuana industry was worth nearly $700 million, with $386 million worth of medical marijuana being sold, and another $313 million in recreational product being purchased by consumers. This figure is expected to expand to $1 billion by 2016.
But, it’s not just Colorado — it’s the entire U.S. that could serve as a stomping ground for marijuana’s growth. According to the ArcView Group, a cannabis investment and research firm, the cannabis industry grew 74% in 2014 to $2.7 billion as it was helped by improved public perception of the drug, and legislation that’s allowing the drug to be sold in legal states. By 2019, ArcView estimates marijuana could be almost an $11 billion market. We’re talking a growth rate of more than 30%, per year, and according to ArcView, that makes cannabis the fastest growing industry in the country!