News and Trends / Cannabis

Report Foresees $5B Legal Cannabis Industry for California

State lawmakers are finalizing legislation to bring both medical and adult-recreational marijuana into the regulatory mainstream.
Report Foresees $5B Legal Cannabis Industry for California
Image credit: Gabriel Bouys | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community.
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As early as January 2018, California will become the latest – and by far the biggest – state to allow the sale of legal adult-use marijuana.

At 39 million people, one-in-eight Americans lives in California. If separated from the United States, the Golden State has the sixth largest economy in the world.

According to a report from the state, that economy is about to get a whole lot bigger.  The legal marijuana market will create a $5 billion industry in California, according to a state-sponsored study conducted by the University of California Agriculture Issues Center.

The state already has a $2 billion market for medical marijuana, which voters in California approved all the way back in 1995, the first state to do so.

Related: Women Increasingly Are Cannabis Entrepreneurs and Customers

Tourism Boost

The study also found that California will benefit from rapid growth in tourism thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Because adult-use cannabis remains illegal in most states, California “may attract some new visitors whose primary reason for visiting the state is cannabis tourism, as has been observed in Colorado,” the study stated, as quoted in The Los Angeles Times.

California already draws 260 million visitors a year who spend more than $122 billion in the state.

Visitors will need to read up on cannabis law across the state, however. Some cities, including Pasadena and Laguna Beach in the Greater Los Angeles area, have already banned recreational marijuana sales.

Working Fast

Against this backdrop, state lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown have been working quickly to craft new marijuana regulations that eliminate contradictions in existing laws and set up a recreational marijuana regulatory framework that can be in place by January 2018.

Related: Is Alaska Poised to Be the Best State for Pot?

In June, lawmakers proposed compromise legislation in a mammoth, 215-page bill. The bill’s proposals include:

  • Allowing both medical and adult-use marijuana to be sold at the same location. The legal marijuana industry sought this change to reduce the costs of running multiple locations. The change will also  cut enforcement costs, with fewer locations to inspect and monitor.
  • Establishing penalties for having an open container of marijuana in the car, much like the law for open containers of alcohol.
  • Offering detailed rules on how testing labs are operated, including the transportation and storage of marijuana.
  • Allowing those who are not residents of California to apply for licenses to sell adult-use marijuana.

Lawmakers still hope to have a regulatory process in place in order to begin issuing recreational marijuana licenses by January 2018.

To stay up to date on the latest marijuana related news make sure to like on Facebook

By Javier Hasse
From retailers to growers, producers, and suppliers, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of startup opportunities in this emerging market. In Start Your Own Cannabis Business, marijuana, biotech, and entrepreneurship reporter Javier Hasse introduces forward-thinking entrepreneurs like you to the industry and shares hard-earned tips and success stories from pioneers and visionaries in the marijuana industry.
Learn More

Latest on Green Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any article to save to your queue.

Podcasts episodes coming soon for

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any podcast episode on to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). The table below describes in more detail the data being collected. By giving your consent below, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Cookie Policy.

Name Category
Google Ad Serving, Ad Targeting, Analytics/Measurement, Optimisation
Rubicon Ad Serving
Teads Ad Serving
Nativo Ad Serving
Teads Ad Serving
New Relic Analytics/Measurement
Log Entries Analytics/Measurement
Sailthru Content Customization