Can Cannabis Be Bigger Than The NFL?


An article on Alternet by Phillip Smith has evaluated the marijuana industry- both legal and black market sales- and compared it’s revenue generation against some of the top industries in the United States.

The Astounding Size of the Marijuana Economy Dwarfs 10 of America’s Most Popular Food and Drink Staples from June 1 explores the opportunity for economic benefit brought through continued marijuana law reform efforts, based on national projections of market potential.

“(L)egal weed is generating total annual sales of between $4 billion and $4.5 billion,” the article states. “But legal marijuana sales are dwarfed by sales in the black market, which according to a recent report in Marijuana Business Daily, accounts for about 10 times the size of the legal market, or about $45 billion to $50 billion.”

According to Smith, that $50 billion revenue figure is greater than the American annual market for erectile dysfuntion drugs, Girl Scout cookies (the ones in the box), frozen pizza, casino gambling and… the NFL.

Although the U.S.A. has some growing up to do before the full market potential can be realized, and all black market sales are migrated into the legal marketplace, the upside to embracing long-awaited cannabis law reform is undeniable.

It’s also the reason to craft legalization and medical rules which are inclusive to all, and to not craft those which price-gouge through taxes or restrict participation by excluding smoked forms of cannabis like Ohio, or those with extensive application processes, as seen in Illinois.

Still, exceeding the NFL’s $13.3 billion in annual revenue would be a good financial benchmark for the cannabis industry to hit – and it’s already one-third of the way there.

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