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US retail marijuana sales to reach up to $10 billion this year

24/7 Wall St. logo 24/7 Wall St. 5/9/2018 Paul Ausick

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Retail sales of medical and recreational marijuana are forecast to rise by nearly 50% year over year in 2018 to a total of $8 billion to $10 billion, according to the 2018 edition of the "Marijuana Business Factbook" released Wednesday morning by cannabis industry news site Marijuana Business Daily. The research further projects sales could reach $22 billion annually by 2022.

The big increase is largely due to the 2018 launch of recreational sales in the state of California. Recreational sales in the state are expected to total some $500 million this year, even after a rocky rollout.

The researchers also noted that continued growth in the mature medical and recreational markets along with new medical marijuana programs also will stoke growth this year.

Chris Walsh, industry analyst and editorial vice-president of MJBizDaily.com, said:

The cannabis sector currently employs an estimated 125,000-160,000 full-time workers. To put this in perspective, there are potentially more full-time marijuana industry workers than there are librarians or kindergarten teachers throughout the country – and over 6 times the number of coal miners in the U.S.

Compared to other burgeoning industries, the number of full-time jobs in the cannabis industry is growing at a rapid-fire pace. The industry is projected to add as many as 340,000 full-time jobs by 2022. This reflects an estimated growth of 21% per year, significantly higher than official estimates for other industries and professions. For example, the entire U.S. healthcare industry is expected to grow 2% annually, while the number of solar panel installers is projected to grow by 7% each year.

The 2018 Marijuana Business Factbook also points out the following highlights of the booming U.S. marijuana industry:

The marijuana industry will create an estimated $28B-$34B economic impact in 2018. By 2022, that could soar past $75B annually. (Estimates for the industry’s economic impact are based on retail marijuana sales and incorporates a multiplier of 3.5 for every $1 consumer or patients spend at dispensaries or rec stores, another $2.50 in economic benefit is created in cities, states, and nationwide.)In 2017, sales of medical and recreational cannabis in the U.S. were nearly nine times higher than Oreo cookies and almost on par with America’s collective spending on Netflix subscriptions.With the addition of California’s recreational market sales in 2018, cannabis sales could easily eclipse McDonald’s annual U.S. revenue.Total demand for marijuana in the U.S., including the black market, is around $52.5 billion.

If the federal government legalized marijuana nationwide, eventually marijuana could surpass cigarette sales -- with the potential to rival beer in terms of overall sales.

To get more information or to order the factbook, visit the MJBizDaily website.

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