Legal cannabis revenue is growing faster and greater than expected. By next year, it could be bringing in more money than the entire National Football League.
According to a new report from the Marijuana Business Factbook, revenue from both medicinal and legal recreational sales from cannabis fell between $8.6 and $10 billion.
That figure is more than the revenue of Goldfish Crackers, the video game Fortnite and e-cigarettes combined. It even rivals the sales of Taco Bell’s annual revenue.
It’s estimated by next year cannabis sales will surpass the projected $15 billion in annual revenue generated by the NFL.
Jim Borghesani was the communications director for Yes On 4, a movement pushing for the legalization of cannabis in the Commonwealth back in 2016. He told WSAR News advocates have known this level of revenue would be possible.
"I think there’s a sense of being confident in the accuracy of the numbers we were talking about both in Massachusetts and nationally, as well,” he explained. “We always claimed with factual basis that cannabis will be a good cash crop, if you will.”
According to the report from the Marijuana Business Factbook, by the end of 2023 cannabis sales could exceed the collective spending Americans pay for gym memberships.
Borghesani knows this number can grow with the potential of the black market which is still utilized. It’s estimated the numbers would be between $50 and $60 billion dollars if those numbers were included with legal sales numbers.
“Taking cannabis away from illegal dealers and putting it in the hands of responsible business people who check ID’s would generate new income for towns and states.”
Roughly 20 percent of adults use some form of cannabis for pain management, therapy or recreationally with that number only growing. As more states legalize, the discouragement of the cannabis versus alcohol for example will fade away.
Borghesani says cannabis has and will always be apart of our culture. It makes no sense to recognize that.
“It seems silly to me to not recognize cannabis is in our society and will always be in our society, he said. “It always has been. To make it legal, give it the same consumer protections, safety and accesses that other substances like alcohol and tobacco have is a wise move for society.”
According to the report, legal cannabis will create a boost for this years economy somewhere between $39 and $48 billion with the potential to surpass the $100 billion mark in 2023.