One in 5 Americans now has access to fully legal marijuana

Flower_22

Article published by Business Insider
Written by 
Source link

2016 was a huge year for legal marijuana.

Four states — California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine — all voted to fully legalize marijuana use, cultivation, distribution, and sales in the November 8 election. When the changes to the various state laws take effect, the number of states with fully legal cannabis will increase to eight (plus Washington, DC).


bi graphics_marijuana map (1)Skye Gould/Business Insider

Though that’s still a fraction of the US, California has an outsize impact; with nearly 40 million residents, it’s the most populous state in the union. As a result, 21% of US citizens will soon live somewhere with access to fully legal marijuana.

More starkly: One in five people in the US will soon live somewhere with legal weed.

The states that have fully legalized marijuana are Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada. Those states and DC combined account for over 68 million Americans.


oregon marijuana dispensary
Marijuana-based products displayed at the Oregon’s Finest medical-marijuana dispensary in Portland, Oregon, on April 8, 2014.
REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

By far, the most impactful state to have full legalization in California. With Proposition 64 — the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana — voters overwhelmingly chose yes on November 8.

56% of voters said yes to the initiative.

As of 12:01 a.m. on November 9, marijuana use is fully legal in California. There’s a $100 fine for smoking in public, and driving under the influence of marijuana remains illegal. California residents are allowed to grow up to six plants in their homes, and recreational sales from shops will become legal
on January 1, 2018. The legislation is similar in the other three states that voted in favor of legalization last week.

The immediate implications for California’s economy are huge.


California Marijuana Market Size (arrows)
New Frontier Data /
Arcview Market Research


California is looking at $1.5 billion flooding into the marijuana market because of change in law, a number that is projected to swell to just shy of $3 billion in 2019 and nearly $4 billion by 2020, based on the latest report from New Frontier Data and ArcView Market Research.

The US’s most populous state is already pulling in billions annually from medical marijuana, which was legalized in California by Proposition 215 back in 1996. The total size of the cannabis market there is expected to reach $4.27 billion in 2018 and then $6.45 billion by 2020, according to ArcView’s projections.

Another question is what impact the presidential election will have on the ongoing push toward nationwide marijuana legalization. Though no one knows for sure, Bloomberg has an interesting look into how the legal marijuana industry is reacting.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *