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Cannabis Brings In Billions of Dollars, Just Imagine If It Was Federally Legal

New report suggest the industry haul will top $52 billion by 2026.

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This story originally appeared on Benzinga

If it's about the money, cannabis should be on the top of the list of arguments for legalization. One might wonder why it is not after viewing the following analysis from the newly published MJBiz Factbook, which estimates that annual cannabis sales will exceed $52 billion by 2026. 

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“While federal legalization flounders in Washington, D.C., the American cannabis industry’s economic impact could near $100 billion by end of 2022 and nearly $158 billion by 2026,” said Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier, editor of MJBiz Factbook. “This means that for every $1 consumers and patients spend at adult-use stores and dispensaries, an additional $1.80 will be injected into the economy, much of it on a local level.”

RELATED: Forecasters Say U.S. Cannabis Sales Will Top $45 Billion By 2025

Higher sales in 2022

The total U.S. economic impact from marijuana sales in 2022 is expected to reach $99 billion – up more than 20% from last year – and upwards of $155 billion in 2026.

To measure the industry’s economic impact, MJBiz's data team analyzed similar industries, consulted with economists and applied a standard multiplier of 2.8 on projected recreational and medical marijuana retail sales, noting that the "numbers are a best guess because the marijuana industry’s structure is somewhat unique."

There are jobs

The cannabis industry in the U.S. is responsible for some 520,000 jobs, a figure that is expected to exceed 800,000 by 2026.

While the industry encompasses agricultural, manufacturing and retail activity,  it also includes events and hospitality, which tend to have an even higher economic impact than other industries.

RELATED: States With the Greatest Jobs Growth In Cannabis

Taxes play a role as well

Marijuana businesses, consumers and patients pay hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local taxes that are used to fund government activities at those levels, including schools and roads.

Real estate and neighborhoods also receive a boost from new retail, manufacturing and agricultural businesses moving into an area or when established companies expand and increase broader demand for commercial properties.

In many markets, noted MJBiz, though cannabis companies are restricted in where they can operate, they often bring new business activity to areas that previously were blighted or couldn’t attract such enterprises.