Wall Street analysts expect the cannabis industry to become a $100 billion market in the US alone by the end of the decade, especially as regulations ease.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and two other top Democratic senators unveiled a 30-page paper as a starting point for a sweeping cannabis reform bill that would make the substance federally legal.
The bill, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, would remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and allow states to set their own policies. It’s expected to be formally introduced in the Senate later this year, though it has a low chance of passing, per past reporting from Insider.
Despite the slim prospects for the bill, it’s a strong signal of how far the US has come on the issue of cannabis reform.
Cannabis is also gaining ground on the state level. Five states voted to legalize cannabis in some form in November’s elections. Other states, including New York and Virginia, followed in the first half of 2021.
Once these laws go into effect, over two-thirds of Americans will have some form of legal access to marijuana, whether medical or recreational. That growing acceptance could help turn cannabis into a $100 billion market, by revenue, in the next ten years, according to analysts at the investment bank Cowen.
The analysts projected growth in legal sales and illicit sales to give a picture of what the total market could look like in the US by 2030 if marijuana is federally legalized, in an October note.
Their projection assumes that cannabis will become federally legal at some point in the US.
A Pew poll this year found that over 90% of Americans support some form of marijuana legalization, whether medical or recreational.
US cannabis companies, like Curaleaf and Green Thumb Industries, aren’t waiting for the federal government to capture the massive revenues from selling marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for adults.
“There are not many issues this country agrees on like they do with cannabis,” Ben Kovler, the CEO of the Illinois-based cannabis company Green Thumb Industries, told Business Insider. “It seems to be pretty universal.”
This article was published on December 4, 2020 and updated on July 26, 2021 to reflect the changing regulatory landscape in the US.