Cannabis a $100 billion opportunity for US business

The potential US market for cannabis could be worth up to $100 billion, according to Irwin Simon, CEO of cannabis-lifestyle and consumer packaged goods company Tilray.

“If you look at cannabis today in the US 93% of Americans want medical cannabis legalised and about 63% – 65% want adult use. Today, it’s legal in about 33 states, plus D.C. So it’s out there that… a majority of people want cannabis legally” he told Yahoo.

As one of the largest growers of marijuana in the world, Tilray is looking to expand its market share by focusing on recreational- and medical-use cannabis.

However, he suggested that the opportunities aren’t constrained to the drug alone:  there is also a burgeoning market for cannabis-related products in categories such as food, personal care products, and drinks.

“What will happen once the US legalises, the big companies…  will want to be into the cannabis business because they know Gen-Z, millennials, that’s very much what they want,” he added.

Currently, 37 states in the USA and D.C. allow for some form of medical marijuana use while 19 states and D.C. allow for recreational adult use.

In late July, the Democrats introduced a bill that would decriminalise the substance on the federal level, though there are not yet enough votes across Congress for it to pass, according to reports.

Simon noted that legalisation would “absolutely” make sense and pointed to Canada as an example of a country that has seen benefits from legislative action.

“If you step back and look at Canada, for instance, it’s really the only country where adult-use cannabis is legal,” he explained. “And over the last 3.5-plus years, it’s contributed about $20 billion in taxes, over 150,000 jobs, about $6 billion in infrastructure that has been built out.” 

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