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Learn | 10.29.2021

Cannabis: A Business Coming Out Of COVID-19 Even Stronger

COVID-19 didn't set us back.

An illegal industry turned into one of the most profitable markets in the U.S.; the cannabis industry is only getting bigger. Tension was high during the global pandemic, but it didn’t stop the industry from generating more revenue than it ever has.

In 2020, cannabis sales reached $20 billion and are currently on track to top that number at $26 billion this year. Furthermore, sales are projected to reach $45.9 billion by 2025, according to data from Marijuana Business Daily and shared at this year’s annual MJBizCon trade show. The projected $46 billion in sales would make the cannabis industry larger than the craft beer industry, said CEO and president of MJBizDaily at the three-day event. “These are potentially conservative numbers with what we see playing out.”

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We currently have more than two-thirds of the country living in states that legalized medical marijuana, and 18 of those have even deemed it legal for recreational use. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. will reach this record-high sales revenue, especially since most of the country is living in states where marijuana is either legal for medical and/or recreational use. This snowball effect in revenue is most likely a result of the pandemic boom, where consumers were forced to stay home with an influx of cash from stimulus cheques. Most dispensaries were even dubbed essential businesses, allowing bored Americans to smoke up all day long.

Walsh continued by explaining that the past 12 to 18 months demonstrate that there’s more to the industry’s growth besides the pandemic. “You’re seeing the next phase of a maturing industry take hold here,” Walsh said to CNN Business. It wasn’t long ago that the cannabis industry struggled to see a quarter of billion-dollar deals, but they seem to be taking off within the past few years. In more recent news, e-commerce and cannabis tech firm Dutchie raised a total of $350 million in their latest round of investments.

Photo by Julie Jacobson/AP Photo

With the expanding industry comes thousands of job openings, said Karson Humiston, CEO, and founder of Vangst, who runs a cannabis industry-centered job recruiting website. According to a report from Leafly and Whitney Economics, there were roughly 321,000 full-time jobs in the cannabis industry as of 2020, topping 2019 at 234,700. “Take a look around,” Humiston said at the MJBizCon event. “People want to get out of their old-school, dying industry, and they want to move into cannabis. This is it. Now is the moment to get involved because it’s never going to be this small again.”

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