The U.S. cannabis industry may grow to as much as a $70 billion by 2021, which would make the sector as big as the economies of the Dominican Republic and Kenya, according to Marijuana Business Daily’s Business Factbook 2017.
The growth estimates bring into sharper focus how marijuana has impacted the local economies in places such as Washington and Colorado, among the first states where it has been legalized.
Estimates published in the recently released report show the total economic impact of legal marijuana sales rising to as much as $68 billion from $16 billion to $18 billion in 2016.
The report says that 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 four to quantify the industry’s overall contribution to the economy, showing how revenue generated by cannabis businesses courses through communities.
The District of Columbia and 26 states have laws broadly legalizing marijuana in some form, according to the website for Governing magazine.
Legalization of marijuana has been a tax boon to states such as Colorado, which legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for non-medical uses in November 2012. Colorado has collected more than $142 million in taxes, licenses and fees through May, an increase of 43% year over year.