Medical marijuana is now a $1.7 billion market, according to a report released today by See Change Strategy LLC, an independent financial analysis firm that specializes in new and unique markets.
To put that number in perspective, it will soon rival the annual sales of Viagra.
Medical marijuana markets exist in seven states (California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, Washington and New Mexico) and will open this year in five more (Arizona, Maine, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia).
The report says 24.8 million people are eligible to receive a recommendation and purchase marijuana legally under state laws, and approximately 730,000 actually do.
The report predicts marijuana markets will double in the next five years, driven by a rise in the number of legal patients and regulatory clarity (states will adopt regulation and license processes that facilitate the sale of medical marijuana).
“Medical marijuana markets are rapidly growing across the country,” Ted Rose, the report’s editor, said in a press release. “We undertook this effort because we noticed a dearth of reliable market information about this politically charged business.”