Maybe the munchies aren’t so bad after all.
Despite the increasing prevalence of kale and quinoa in our organic grocers and Instagram timelines, America still loves its junk food. Particularly in states where Whole Foods is barely a concept let alone a convenient shopping destination. In fact, we spend a combined $4.9 billion on Doritos, Cheetos, and Funyuns in 2015. So it’s all the more impressive that we managed to spend in excess of that—$5.4 billion, to be precise—on legal weed. Factor in the pot purchases not declared on tax returns and this figure could be closer to $30 billion.
According to new estimates from ArcView Market Research and New Frontier Data, two marijuana industry market research groups compiled the statistics, the majority of dope dollars were spent in California (over $1 billion,) Colorado (nearly $1 billion,) and the Washington state (more than a half-billion.) ArcView added that a 30 percent annual growth would put the legal weed industry at around $22 billion in annual revenue by 2020, reports the Washington Post. They did not give an estimate of our collective Funyuns consumption, but it’s not like escalating cannabis sales are exactly detrimental to the fried snack industry.
“Legalization of cannabis is one of greatest business opportunities of our time, and it’s still early enough to see huge growth,” ArcView wrote encouragingly in its report to entice potential investors. They note that there are some challenges, like the growing disconnect between federal and state laws, which can result in fewer tax breaks and the threat of raids in certain states. However, as the market grows and investors become less timid, they’re optimistic about the chance to truly make America great again.