Marijuana Is For Profit And Is Not For Fun

It’s not easy to pin down exactly how big the global marijuana market is or might be given the shifting legal landscape and its still largely underground nature. But ArcView Market Research pegs the U.S. market for legal marijuana at a current value of US$1.4-billion and projects it will grow to US$2.3-billion in 2014 and US$10.2-billion in five years.

Other estimates south of the border suggest overall sales of cannabis are worth a lot more, perhaps topping US$120-billion a year, putting it on par with the alcohol or tobacco industries, which generated combined revenues of US$263-billion in 2008, according to a Standard & Poors report. In Canada, the medical marijuana market, alone, could be worth more than $1-billion by 2024.

Of course, many of the estimates for pot sales hinge on future demand, both medically and recreationally, which has stabilized in a number of countries over the past decade. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that between 2.8% and 4.5% of the world’s population aged 15-64 in 2009 had used cannabis at least once in the past year. Put another way, that’s between 125 and 203 million tokers.

Tweed Inc. workers tend to medical marijuana plants at a new commercial operation set up inside a former Hershey’s chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ontario, an hour’s drive from Ottawa.

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