The explosive growth in the recreational and medical cannabis industries is unparalleled. Retail sales of medical and recreational cannabis combined is expected to reach $5-$6 billion this year, according the latest numbers. Sales could surge to $17 billion by 2021. Judging by those numbers, the total amount of cannabis sales is easily on track to outperform ice cream sales by the end of the year.
On May 17, new information was released which outlines various financial benchmarks in the industry. Cannabis sales are poised to overtake ice cream sales, which pull in $5.1 billion annually. Recreational shops are expected to generate $2.6-$2.9 billion in sales this year plus $2.5-$3.2 billion is expected in medical cannabis sales. The combined projections for medical and recreational cannabis could easily outsell ice cream sales and many other everyday products.
“The marijuana industry is primed and pumped for explosive growth in the foreseeable future, provided there isn’t a significant crackdown at the federal level,” stated Chris Walsh, editorial director of Marijuana Business Daily. “The business opportunities that will emerge in the coming years are tremendous for both existing marijuana companies and new ones that start up.” The report adds that 11 states that recently passed cannabis-related measures alone could generate more than $7 billion by 2021.
According to the report, the average profit margin for dispensaries and recreational stores is 19 percent, which is unheard of in other general business sectors. Currently, recreational and medical cannabis sales sit around $4.0-$4.5 billion. Cannabis sales are expected to soon overtake other snack brands such as Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns sales, which currently collect $4.9 billion in annual sales.
California holds title to the “lion’s share” of recreational cannabis sales, constituting up to 76 percent of the total revenue potential from the new recreational markets. The job market in the cannabis industry is optimistic across the board. The cannabis industry currently employs somewhere in between 165,000-230,000 full- and part-time employees. The numbers put the cannabis industry in perspective when compared to other retail sectors.