Number of the Day

The Legal Marijuana Industry Reaches New Highs, by the Numbers

Cannabis will soon be legal in some form in 36 U.S. states but remains illegal at the federal level

Photo illustration; source: Luke Dray/Stringer/Getty Images

$17.7 billion: That’s how much people spent on legal marijuana around the world last year, 88% of which is accounted for by North America, according to a report from Grand View Research cited by Inc.

Grand View projects that the market for legal cannabis will be worth $73.6 billion by 2027, and the results of various ballot measures in last week’s election make it likely that much of this expansion will be in the United States. Voters have paved the way to legalize medical marijuana in 36 states and recreational weed in 15, with Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Montana all joining the latter category last week.

The market for legal weed is still far behind that for alcohol, which is worth $232 billion in the United States alone, but as Steve LeVine noted in Marker, the hedonism economy was a big winner in last week’s election, and the numbers projecting the cannabis market’s expansion point to how much room that economy has to grow.

The election news sent share prices of cannabis companies surging, such as the struggling Canada-based Aurora Cannabis, which saw an increase of 135% in the days after the election. Many of the publicly traded cannabis companies are based in Canada because despite marijuana now being legal in several U.S. states, it remains illegal at the federal level, which makes it difficult for U.S. cannabis businesses to access banking and insurance or operate across state lines.

The North American cannabis industry is hoping a Biden presidency will finally change that.

Legal weed is one way to get people consuming greens again.

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