Legal Pot Industry Could Outgrow the NFL By 2020

By Brent McCluskey 10/28/14

Big Marijuana could rake in tens of billions of dollars by the end of the decade.

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The marijuana industry is growing fast, and if the drug becomes legalized on a federal level, its revenue could surpass the almighty NFL as soon as 2020.

Greenwave Advisors, a company that conducts research and financial analysis on the marijuana industry, estimated that legalized pot could pull in as much as $35 billion in annual revenue. Compare that to the NFL, which only generates $10 billion annually, and it’s clear to see the monetary potential of legalized pot.

In fact, legal marijuana could become so lucrative that its annual revenue would be on par with the newspaper publishing industry and the confectionery industry, which generate $38 billion and $34 billion respectively. While revenue from legalized marijuana is projected to skyrocket in coming years, it still has a long way to go in meeting estimates after making $1.53 billion in 2013.

But the money marijuana can generate is contingent upon its legalization. Currently there are 23 states that have legalized the drug’s use for medical purposes and two states that have legalized it for recreational use. However, Greenwave believes that DC will have legalized recreational marijuana use by 2020.

Meanwhile, national politicians like Hillary Clinton have recently warmed to the idea of legalized marijuana and could sign off on more clinical studies if elected president. But while the winner of the 2016 elections could put Greenwave’s estimations on course, they could also just as easily stop them in their tracks.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.