The new great frontier might not be a tech company or idea, but rather weed. The U.S. legal cannabis market is currently worth about $8 billion, but the industry is expected to blow up in a major way. So much so that legal medical and adult consumer sales will be higher than the NFL. Arcview Market Research is predicting that the U.S. legal cannabis sales will triple in size by 2021. Making the weed business a more profitable industry than even the mighty NFL, which had approximately $13 billion in revenue in 2016 and projects to reach $25 billion in total annual sales by 2027. North American sales of marijuana are projected to exceed $20.2 billion by 2021, based on a compound annual growth rate of 25%.
Legal marijuana sales in the U.S. and Canada grew by an unbelievable 30% in 2016 to an astounding $6.7 billion according to a new report by Arcview Market Research. Legal U.S. pot sales soared to $5.4 billion for 2015, up 17.4% from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to ArcView Group. In 2017, Colorado surpassed $1 billion in marijuana sales in a mind-blowing eight months. In 2016, Washington’s tax revenue was $256 million, Colorado had $200 million, and Oregon brought in $60 million in Oregon according to VS Strategies.
But it’s not just bringing in cash and tax revenue, it’s also creating jobs. There are a reported 150,000 workers in the legal cannabis industry in the United States and had a job growth of 20% this year. The legal marijuana market is exploding so much so that even prominent tech execs are leaving their high-paying positions to get in on the untapped potential of weed. Alan Gertner was head of Google’s Asia-Pacific sales team in Singapore two years ago where he handled more than $100 million in business. Now he sits in a small office in Toronto where his current employer attempts to develop a successful company that sells cannabis accessories such as vaporizers and bongs. Gertner raised $10 million in capital in only 10 months. Eric Eslao, a former senior production manager at Apple, left his established position at the tech giant last year to focus on producing cannabis chocolate bars.
This comes at a time when Americans, more than ever, support legalizing marijuana. In an October 2017 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans said that cannabis should be made legal, the highest level of public support in nearly a half-century of Gallup polls. As the marijuana prohibition is set to fade away, legal weed is the next big business.