The legal recreational and medical cannabis industries have seen no shortage of excitement over the last few years with more countries and states consistently advancing new laws and with jobs in either sector growing faster than both the tech and healthcare sectors. Of course, this is hardly a surprise when you take a look at the dollar figures being generated by the legal industry.
Marijuana Business Daily posted a graph earlier this week based on figures published in their 2019 edition of the Marijuana Business Factbook and according to the data, legal recreational and medical cannabis sales created between $8.6 billion and $10 billion in revenue in 2018 alone. This figure tops annual spending on e-cigarettes, goldfish crackers and the incredibly popular video game, Fortnite, combined. The figure also puts the industry in the running with U.S. Taco Bell sales, currently at $10.8 billion. It’s predicted that the legal cannabis industry will surpass revenue generated by the entire National Football League by as early as 2020.
These numbers are exciting, and put into perspective how much legal cannabis is being sold in the United States among other incredibly profitable industries, but this is still only the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t show the potential the industry has and just how far it still can grow.
Also included in the chart is the “Estimated Total Demand for recreational Cannabis in the United States” at a whopping $50 to $60 billion, coming in between total wine sales in the U.S. at $72 billion, and total pizza sales for the entire country at $45.7 billion.
So what does this mean for current growers or for someone who is still interested in entering the industry? According to the data, it means that the industry hasn’t even come close to reaching its potential, there is a lot of room to grow, and there will be no shortage of opportunities to enter or expand within the industry.
The United States will absolutely need more cultivators to keep up with the demand. Regardless of restrictions in place and some of the messy laws currently pervading the industry, the industry will need to continue welcoming new growers to satisfy the demand for both recreational and medical cannabis.
Of course, it’s difficult for the industry to really reach its full potential while it’s categorized as a Schedule I substance and remains illegal at the federal level, but with 33 states that have legalized medical cannabis and 10 that have legalized recreational cannabis, the industry is making quick strides. The high demand for accessible cannabis is putting pressure on politicians to take action to advance the industry and most are being met with success.
As cannabis continues to become more widely accepted, more people are becoming interested in how they can benefit from using cannabis to ease symptoms of various illnesses, and as more states legalize and develop their medical cannabis programs, there will be a continued need for cultivators catering to the medical cannabis industry. This acceptance is also bringing many people to the recreational market, and in many cases, people are opting for cannabis over alcohol for their leisure so it’s predicted that much of the demand and growth in sales will stem from the recreational market.
It may seem daunting to compete with some of the major cannabis brands who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build cannabis greenhouses, but it’s also important to note that quality over quantity is and will be more important as people continue to familiarize themselves with strains and products. Craft cannabis is likely to be the next big trend in the industry, similarly to what has happened overtime in the beer industry, so smaller growers should feel confident in jumping in and being welcomed into a quickly growing industry. The numbers show that the industry has room for everyone, and ultimately it is growers who will fulfill the demand.
If you’re interested in cultivating commercial cannabis, be sure to work with knowledgeable professionals who work with you to ensure you have the best environment for your plants.
Ready to get your cannabis cultivation project started? Contact the experts at GGS today for greenhouse and indoor facility design.