Personal Finance

Five facts you didn’t know about the cannabis industry

Key Points
  • The legal market could grow to more than $20 billion by 2022 from nearly $10 billion in 2018.
  • Six states currently regulate pot sales.
  • Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma may vote on marijuana reform this year.
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Whether you're running a dispensary or you're working in an ancillary business serving the pot industry, cannabis is set to take off.

Legal sales of marijuana are expected to grow to more than $20 billion by 2022, from approximately $10 billion in 2018, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

Further, Michigan, Utah and Oklahoma may vote on cannabis reform this year, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.

Here are five facts you may not know about this budding business.

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There will be an additional 340,000 full-time jobs by 2022

The cannabis industry employs between 125,000 to 160,000 full-time workers, according to Marijuana Business Daily. It's expected to add another 340,000 full time jobs by 2022, reflecting an estimated growth of 21 percent per year.

Those careers run the gamut, from individuals who are growing plants to those who work for "ancillary businesses" that don't involve coming into direct contact with weed, such as providing legal services.

A cannabis farmer applies fertilizer to a crop of plants in Humboldt County, California.
Robert Gauthier | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

U.S. demand for weed: $52.5 billion

Counting both legal and black market sales, the total demand for pot is approximately $52.5 billion, Marijuana Business Daily found.

Woman tending to her commercial cannabis crop in an indoor grow facility in Denver, Colorado.
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Six states now regulate recreational pot

Recreational sales are legal in Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. In Washington, D.C., adults over 21 can legally possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, grow up to six cannabis plants in their home or give away up to one ounce of marijuana to another person who is at least 21. Sales are not legal in the nation's capital.

Maine permits recreational marijuana, and state lawmakers are pushing for legislation to establish a regulated market.

Starting July 1, adults over 21 will be able to purchase recreational pot at retail stores in Massachusetts.

Rows of cannabis plants grow in the twenty thousand square foot greenhouse at Vireo Health's medical marijuana cultivation facility.
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Legal sales could double in 2018

Annual retail sales of cannabis are expected to rise by 50 percent from 2017, reaching $8 billion to $10 billion by the end of 2018, according to Marijuana Business Daily.

A bill to establish the framework for legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana was narrowly approved by the state legislature’s appropriations committee, 27 to 24, in April. It so far has not been voted on in either the House or Senate.
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Pot generates tax revenue

During the fiscal 2017, Washington state collected $219 million in legal pot income and licensing fees. The excise tax is 37 percent on retail sales.

Last year, weed taxes, plus revenue from licensing and fees, hit $247.4 million in Colorado.

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer told CNBC that legal pot in New York could create a $3.1 billion market.