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November 20, 2018

The cannabis landscape is changing fast – and with these changes, the economies of those states with legal cannabis are growing rapidly. We’ve created some graphics that show just how much things are changing, and just how much cannabis brings to local and state economies.

The Legal Trend Across the Country

As of this writing, cannabis is now legal in some form in 16 states, and there are more changes just over the horizon. Most notably, the entire west coast, all of New England, and even Florida have heeded the call of the people for freedom of choice and safe access to clean cannabis.

The Grass Is Getting Greener

Cannabis is a growth industry, and experts predict that’s a trend that won’t slow down anytime soon. Since 2016, revenue from cannabis has almost doubled –not many industries can show that kind of growth, even in the salad days. And the pros who know economics say this will continue to be a growth industry: cannabis revenues in five years are projected to reach over $20 billion a year nationwide. An interesting takeaway from this graphic is that you can see the numbers of people turning to cannabis go up steeply when they have safe, recreational access.

Wholesale Prices Are Plummeting

Prices for bud are going down, especially in states that have legal recreational cannabis. On average, the wholesale price of a pound of flowers has gone down 24.5% across states with some form of legal cannabis. These decreases are most significant in states that allow recreational use, due to the mass production of legal cannabis. Oregon, California, Washington, and Colorado are all producing surplus cannabis that drives up supply.

Cannabis Jobs Are Becoming More and More Abundant

More Americans than ever before are employed in the cannabis industry, and this will continue as long as we see the kind of boom we’ve seen so far. As of 2018, there are currently more people working full time in the cannabis industry than there are librarians. This number will soon eclipse the number of bus drivers and kindergarten teachers. Jobs are created, tax bases are more stout, and everybody wins.

The Impact of the Cannabis Industry on Economies Is Undeniable

Last year, cannabis revenues contributed over $20 billion to local, state, and national economies. And it wasn’t from just selling $20 billion worth of weed – dispensaries benefit their local economies by creating jobs, paying taxes, and becoming vital parts of the communities they serve. As you can see in the graphic, the additional economic benefits of having dispensaries operate in communities is exponentially greater than the revenues from dispensaries themselves.


No doubt about it; cannabis is changing the way governments do business by boosting economies. The nation watched as Colorado and Washington played the roles of guinea pig for legalization, and you can believe state governments across the country are taking note of what’s possible economically. It’s a great business full of good people, but it’s also a cash cow for states that need money, and that’s why you’ll see these projected trends continue. It’s a domestic market being filled with domestic products, and that’s about as American as it gets.

Cannabis Infographic Economics of Cannabis


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