Home Business Looking Forward: Where Will Legal Cannabis Be in 5 Years?

Looking Forward: Where Will Legal Cannabis Be in 5 Years?


Very few experts predicted that the legal cannabis market in Colorado would see as much success and job growth as it did in 2015. In just one year, legal sales in the state of Colorado totaled almost $1 billion in revenue. The state government collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees last year. According to many financial experts, this number will only continue to rise as more and more cannabis regulations are removed.

ArcView Market Research releases The State of Legal Marijuana Markets report annually, which is now in its fourth year. In the report, ArcView makes the prediction that the legal cannabis market will earn $21.8 billion in yearly sales by 2020. ArcView expects the legal cannabis market will see an annual growth rate of 30% over the next few years.

This report confirms the speculation put forth by the Washington Post in October of 2014 – that by 2020, the legal cannabis market could be bigger than the National Football League. The NFL took in about $12 billion of revenue last year.

Think about this for a minute. If you took a time machine back to the 60’s or 70’s and told someone that by the year 2020, the legal cannabis market would be more successful and mainstream than American football, they’d look at you like you had three heads. That could soon become the reality, though. It’s exciting and mind-boggling at the same time.

With 2016 being an election year, legal cannabis is a hot button issue. While legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has pretty much been a hot button issue since the early 1970’s, it really is different this time. It’s different this time because now cannabis advocates have a model of success to point to thanks to the hard work of some people in Colorado and other states that have legalized.

Regardless of anyone’s political leanings, it’s hard for prohibitionists to argue with $135 million collected in marijuana taxes for just one year, in just one state. If the federal government can figure out a way to get a slice of the pie, they are going to. And with a national debt of nearly $20 trillion, the U.S. federal government seems to need all the financial help they can get.

What do you think? Where will the legal cannabis industry be in 5 years? What about 10 years? Let us know in the comment section!


  1. North Carolina needs to get ahead of the game. Very disappointed in my state of how little progress we’ve made. I already moved to Colorado and began working in the cannabis industry, looks like i’ll start packing my bags again, cmon NC get it together

  2. The DEA has recently decided to leave mj in the schedule 1 category, along with heroin. It is hard for the US Government to get a piece of the tax pie when a federal agency still thinks mj should be illegal and has no medicinal value.

    • Every individual professional involved in the legal cannabis market still has to pay federal, state and local taxes. Maintaining the delusion that cannabis still belongs at a schedule 1 seems to be a more profitable piece of the pie for the feds when it comes to special interest groups, funding the failed “war” on drugs, pharmaceutical influences, etc. That could change soon, as evidenced by the figures and arguments above. Thanks reading and for the comment, Gomer.

  3. I agree about North Carolina’s cannabis laws.I’m still here though.I’ve been a consumer of cannabis for over40 years.I got myself off the pain meds in 2013 and have been vaping ever since.I think N. C.will at least have legal medical cannabis within the next 2 to 3 years.We do have cbd oil for seizure.Maybe ptsd and chronic pain are next.My hopes are still high that the people in the state government will see the advantage both in tax revenue and health of the people of North Carolina.

  4. PS. Johnson is our only hope for legalization this November unless his prediction on Obama will come true….I do hope it does because Clinton or Trump will make our future worst than it is now. Anyone that looks into what moving cannabis down to a schedule 2 knows that will eliminate our free state movement and hand it over to our big pharm to take over or bury it as they have ever since 1974.

  5. Hello! For about 46 years of my life I thought Cannabis was a horrible drug. I sent my girls to DARE…lol I did everything I could to make them think as I did…..
    Well, I decided to try it after my fibromyalgia got so bad…and I had taken opiates for ten years…which was hell on earth for me.
    Imagine how pissed I was at my own government for lying about this Miracle Medicine. It should be available to everyone everywhere. It’s the healthiest veggie…a beautiful plant..
    I thank God for it everyday. It calms me down. It takes pain away. It seriously helps my PTSD. I pray that Wisconsin starts getting their heads out of their narrow minded asses. I started Cannabis. Together, We Can, Wisconsin, to help people understand that we were totally lied to.

  6. I hope that each adult has the right to grow and consume their own plants without government interference. I’m a grown man and don’t want the government involved in regulating what plants I grow, as long as I’m not causing other ppl harm.