Citing new market research reports, the Washington Post reports that Americans are spending more on legal weed than they are are several top snack foods combined.
The medical and out-right legal sale of marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and experts predict its growth will be near exponential. Tallying a massive $5.4 billion total in 2015 is just the tip of the industry's potential, according to the report. The booming market is expected to expand to nearly $20 billion by 2020, an increase of around 30 percent per year.
For perspective on just how impressive that $5.4 billion is, legal weed accounted more for sales revenue than Cheetos, Funyuns and Doritos combined -- by a margin of around half a billion dollars. That's impressive on its own, but especially considering the probable increase in munchies from all that legal pot probably didn't exactly hurt the snack food sales numbers.
Broken down, you're talking about $1 billion from medical marijuana, $1 billion from Colorado vendors, another chunk from Washington retailers and then miscellaneous sales.
But what about illegal weed?
Well, economics and drug policy experts say that portion of the industry is as much as six times the current sales landscape of legal weed, to the tune of up to $30 billion in illicit sales every year.