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Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015, Report Says
It’s not just heat lamps in closets and nickel bags anymore: Marijuana is getting some respect as legal sales take off.
This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry hasbecome a gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington.
Demand is expected to remain strong this year, with a forecast of $6.7 billion in legal sales, the report said.
The promises and headwinds of the industry are potentially far-reaching and attracting notice on Wall Street. As more states legalize marijuana sales, analysts are weighing the stock market benefits of new businesses ascannabis goes corporate. Funds are considering the ethics of investing in marijuana. Parents are even debating whether to allow their children to buy the stocks.
Detroit Puts 211 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On Notice
Facebook Shuts Down Medical Marijuana Pages in New Jersey
Washington DC Council Reverses Opposition To Regulated Spaces To Consume Marijuana
Here's a Map of Every State and Their Marijuana Laws
This year could be big one for marijuana legalization, with states like Arizona, Maine and Vermont likely to jump on the bandwagon, which is already led by Alaska, Colorado and Washington. As of June, marijuana was legalized in some way in 23 states and Washington D.C, proving that a revolution is already underway.
But federally, marijuana is still considered a Schedule I drug — along with heroin and LSD — meaning that it has a high potential for abuse. That's left both the industry and consumers in a confusing gray area, since in states like Washington, people over the age of of 21 can walk into a commercial dispensary to buy an ounce of marijuana.
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