- Revenue from the sale of cannabis already exceeds that from a number of products, including, somewhat surprisingly, alcohol. This is the case in places that have legalised the plant and made a commitment to it. The news could encourage many others to choose the same path.
For several months the legalisation of marijuana in the United States has demonstrated that, in addition to being of great benefit to consumers, in terms of quality, it is also a product that is worth its weight in gold. The plant's acceptance has created new jobs and generated significant revenue for certain states. In fact, many politicians, and all the activists who have long been fighting for cannabis, are well aware that this plant boasts a very strong market.
The recent data provided by ArcView Market Research and NewFrontier Data, two companies dedicated to cannabis market studies, support this view. According to the company, last year Americans spent some 5.4 billion dollars (about 4.7 billion euros) on legal marijuana, for medicinal and recreational purposes.
The most surprising and curious part is that, according to these figures, Americans are now spending more money on marijuana than on, for example, Doritos and Cheetos. This does not even take into account sales in those places where the product is not yet legal. And the organisation behind the report believes that sales will grow 30% annually over the next five years.
Apparently, even more marijuana is sold in states that have not yet legalised it, although it is difficult to accurately gauge that amount. According to 2012 estimates by drug policy experts, however, the profits in this sector are between 15 and 30 billion dollars (between 13 and 26 billion euros).
Many wish to follow the example of Colorado, where many cannabis-related jobs have been created. Only last summer the state brought in more revenue from the sale of marijuana than it did from alcohol. According to the state's Department of Revenue, Colorado raked in some 70 million dollars (about 62 million euros) in revenue from the sale of marijuana, from July 2014 to June 2015, surpassing the 42 million (about 37 million euros) in taxes on alcohol. A smashing success that many had predicted.
With these examples, Vermont just might become the next state in the country to legalise cannabis if its legislature approves the necessary bill. And it may be followed by others, like California, Nevada and Massachusetts. More places ought to take into account the benefits of legalisation.