When searching for America’s fastest-growing industries, chances are you’ll find marijuana near, or at, the top. Cannabis research firm ArcView pegged legal sales of the drug at $5.4 billion in 2015 and believes the legal industry can grow organically by 30% per year through 2020. This would bring legal sales for the industry to nearly $22 billion if this estimate were to come to fruition.
Marijuana’s success is mostly based on the expected expansion at the state level. For those who may not have been following the recent events surrounding cannabis, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, with the assistance of the Department of Health and Human Services, declined to reschedule marijuana from its current schedule 1 status. This move effectively leaves marijuana as an illegal substance at the federal level and implies that it has no medical benefits. In other words, the only way the cannabis industry has any chance of growth is through state-level expansion via ballot measure or legislative approval.