The US marijuana industry could be adding as much as $44bn (£35bn) to the country's economy by 2020, according to a new study from Marijuana Business Daily.
Figures in the 2016 Marijuana Business Factbook show that the cannabis industry's value could more than triple from 2016 projections of $14-$17bn, if current business and legalisation trends continue.
The report estimates that retail marijuana sales will hit between $3.5bn and $4.3bn in 2016, up from $3bn-$3.4bn last year. And sales could climb to $8bn in 2018 when states that legalise pot this year are likely to start coming online - states including California, Nevada and Massachusetts could legalise recreational cannabis in the November election.
Meanwhile, sales of recreational cannabis could start to surpass medical marijuana sales as early as 2018
“We’re witnessing the emergence of a business that is about to become a massive economic force,” said Chris Walsh, managing editor of Marijuana Business Daily. “These figures, which we deem conservative, show not only how important the industry already is to the US economy at large, but also how much more important it is about to become.”