We have previously discussed how the economics of legalization of marijuana could be changing the dynamic in the politics surrounding the issue. If that is true, legalization advocates must be pleased by the figures just out from 2015. Legal U.S. pot sales have risen to $5.4 billion for 2015 — that is a 17.4 percent increase from 2014. With both taxes and revenues flowing from the legal pot market, legalization may be becoming entrenched in the country.
Adult use sales grew to $998 million from $351 million in 2014. The growth could skyrocket with voters in various states, including California, expected to take up legalization in 2016.
In Washington state sales increased 300 percent in 2015.
It will become increasingly difficult for politicians to pull the plug on an industry worth billions in revenue with millions of customers. Moreover, there will be greater pressure on conservatives to respect the state’s right to decide this issue for themselves under federalism guarantees.