Recent years have delivered an unmatched wave of momentum in the ongoing state-by-state repeal of cannabis prohibition and as such, consumer markets are experiencing the ripple effect. Steady GDP growth in states with some form of legalized cannabis usage signifies localized economic health in keeping with the everchanging policies that govern the markets. Specific product types are experiencing explosive growth because of the shift. Now, it is worth cross-examining the details of what guides and correlates all these changes.

GDPs of Legalized States

A brief review of the growth of Western states with legalized cannabis holds the first correlative clue. Washington, Colorado, and California experienced an average GDP growth of 2.63 between Q4-2015 and Q1-2017. On the contrary, states who remain in a 100% prohibited status of cannabis consumption fared far worse, with some even experiencing negative growth some quarters. Predictably, as retail cannabis gross sales reached $6.7 Billion in 2016, we see the positive trend spread throughout the local economies. The respective job markets in the states with increased GDP and a legalized, profiting cannabis market, exhibit exceptional health as well, aiding to the influx of consumer expenditures across sectors.

Strong Demographics

A recent independent study noted that of the sample population of cannabis users, 65% reported earning $75K more annually. This may likely be attributed to the rapid job growth for tech-giants in cannabis retail regions whose median salaries for non-senior, college educated are averaging around $97,000 per year. The average age of the present-day cannabis consumer and tech-employee are both teetering around 30 years old. The technology-driven consumer is proving to be a true catalyst for growth in once alternative markets.

Vape Sales Increasing

Vaporizer usage has skyrocketed, with sales of cannabis oil cartridges increasing 400% between 2015-2016 in certain retail markets. Vaporizing has long been proven as the healthful alternative versus traditional smoked flowers and this research is now readily available at the touch of a button. Not unlike the smartphones used to research and shape consumer decisions, vaporizer technology aims to engage in the same temporal satisfaction of participating the planned obsolesce of current models, almost guaranteeing future expenditures and revenue as a result.

Prohibition States

As this cross-section of American talent and culture fosters the expansion of recreational cannabis sales, more Central and Southern counterparts are doing their part to follow suit and acknowledge educational materials on the therapeutic benefits and are accepting the change at hand. Traditionally thought of as a liberal pastime, modern-day usage is highlighting the bipartisan agreement that the cannabis plant is due a second look. The same study noted 43% of users polled identified as Republican. In 2014 UT and OK both legalized the use and distribution of CBD infused products, signaling secondary and tertiary markets as acceptable, therapeutic, and undoubtedly, profitable. Even states like Texas have permissible policies and have begun to reexamine the current legislation.

Economics, Demand, and State Benefits

As society takes part in a new wave of working-class capital growth, guided by the tastes and tolerances of a younger, arguably, albeit relatively, affluent group of consumers, the economic gains resulting from cannabis legalization is bringing marijuana prohibition closer to an end. Taking note of market trends, it would be reasonable to suggest that, as individual states begin investing time and research into the positive outcomes that resulted in growth to their progressive counterparts, we can all expect to see the entire market make some healthy gains with the widespread effects being felt through the entirety of the local economies.