- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

California’s legal marijuana market could grow by nearly $4 billion over the next four years if voters approve a ballot initiative to legalize recreational use of the drug, according to a recent market report.

The state’s current medical marijuana market reached $2.7 billion last year. If voters approve the November ballot initiative, total medical and recreational sales could top $6.5 billion annually by 2020, according to analysis released Tuesday by New Frontier and Arcview Market Research.

California is one of five states that will ask voters this November whether to legalize recreational marijuana use. But because the state is the most populous in the country, legalization could have a tremendous affect on the national industry.

“California is the cannabis market that is going to catapult the industry forward if they legalize adult use in November,” said Giadha DeCarcer, CEO of New Frontier. “It is the largest and most influential state in the cannabis industry in terms of production, consumption, and cultural influence.”

California’s medical marijuana industry already accounts for an estimated 62 percent of the country’s entire medical cannabis sales, according to the New Frontier report.

Previous analysis of the national cannabis market predicted sales of between $14 billion and $17 billion this year, with the potential to reach $44 billion by 2020.

If recreational marijuana use is approved by California voters, medical marijuana sales are expected to decline. The New Frontier report predicts that sales would drop from last year’s $2.76 billion to $2.53 billion by 2020.

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