Many people are starting businesses and cashing in on what is known as the “green rush” as cannabis becomes legal in more places throughout the United States.
As an added bonus, big business seems to be staying out of the industry until the laws stabilize leaving room for local entrepreneurs to move in and stake a claim.
So just how big is the US cannabis market? Just a few years ago it was very difficult to tell how the market would react to cannabis being sold legally. I imagine it has something to do with the federal laws still keeping the act illegal.
There were a lot of concerns. In 1937 the federal government set up a lot of people with The Marijuana Tax Act. Would distributors and growers get raided by the feds?
Fortunately that didn’t happen. Instead, the President ordered the federal government to stand down, and leave the states to decide for themselves for now. As a result we have four states with legal recreational use, and about 23 other states allowing medical use.
The U.S. cannabis market is estimated to be around 100 billion dollars annually. Comparatively, beer sales across the U.S. are around 100 billion dollars annually and tobacco sales are around 80 billion dollars annually.
Colorado’s cannabis market is on track to blossom into a 500 million dollar a year industry this year according to a Colorado based cannabis marketing company.
This industry is going to be big, and not just for the growers. Actually, it’s already big. According to The US Government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) there are over 8 million regular cannabis users in the US. More if you consider how many people that don’t admit it to agencies like that.
The typical daily cannabis users are not who you might think either. They’re smart females with killer careers and enviable social lives as Marie Claire would put it.
One might think of hippie high school flicks like Dazed and Confused or comedians like Cheech & Chong when they think of regular cannabis users, but it turns out that probably one of the most lucritive target audiences for cannabis are successful, independent women.
This is great news from a marketing perspective. A very similar group of women took to shopping online first, and a quick look at companies like Amazon and eBay can tell you how well this scenario can play out.
One in five women who admitted to indulging in the previous month lives in a household earning more than $75,000 a year. They cut a wide swath across the professional spectrum, including lawyers, editors, insurance agents, and TV producers.
The market isn’t just successful career women. It’s just about everyone. Marijuana tourist from other states have resulted in millions for Washington and Colorado. Plus, lets not forget those stoner, high school movie goers. They have jobs and are more than happy to spend money on legal cannabis.
By simply being “cannabis friendly” many companies in the hospitality industries have opened themselves up to a much larger audience. Catering companies have given themselves an exclusive edge by adding cannabis to the menu, and they’re not alone. Restaurants and coffee shops are among them.
All of these ventures capitalizing on the burgeoning cannabis industry in the US will all need supporting services like consulting and legal work as well. Entire companies have formed exclusively serving cannabis related businesses which might be a sign that cannabis is booming, and only getting bigger for the foreseeable future.