By Steve Elliott
A new report projects that legal marijuana could be an industry with revenues of $35 billion by 2020 if cannabis is legalized at the federal level. Greenwave Advisors, which authored the report, notes that this is a floor representing revenues in the first year of nationwide legalization.
That figure -- $35 billion -- represents more annual revenue than the NFL (currently $10 billion), and is roughly equal to current revenues from the newspaper publishing industry ($38 billion) and the candy/confectionary industry ($34 billion), reports Christopher Ingraham at .
Greenwave arrived at its estimates by looking at existing and likely marijuana markets, medical and recreational, in states that already have legalized them, as well as in states that appear likely to open such markets by 2020. The research and analysis company estimates 12 states plus D.C. will have legalized recreational cannabis by 2020, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post, with medical marijuana in 37 states.
Currently 23 states have legalized medical marijuana, and two (Colorado and Washington) have legalized cannabis for recreational use. Even without full federal legalization, Greenwave estimates legal marijuana revenues of $21 billion by 2020.