Legal U.S. pot sales increased to $5.4 billion for 2015, up almost 20 percent from $4.6 billion back in 2014, in reference to information that was released Monday by the ArcView Group, which tracks the marijuana markets. These figures include medical and adult consumer sales.

The yearly gain was largely fueled by the rapid growth in consumer sales, as some states have approved adult recreational cannabis use. Adult use sales soared to $998 million from $351 million in 2014, according to the data. By many measures, 2015 was a bellwether year for cannabis, as states like Colorado and Washington paved the way for new business models and growth.

Entrepreneurs have opened spa-like retail shops for adult cannabis users and medical cannabis sales. The expanding cannabis market features many different innovative consumer-facing products such as vaporizers, edibles, and capsules. Colorado adult use sales surpassed $100 million this past year for the first time.

Washington state also saw strong monthly sales gains in 2015 – increasing some three-fold – with $75.3 million in sales for December from $18.8 million in January 2015. Sales of edibles and extracts in Washington already number in the hundreds of thousands of units in a just one month.

ArcView believes the legal market could grow to $6.7 billion in sales.
In addition to publishing marijuana sector research, ArcView’s investor network members have invested more than $64 million in about 104 cannabis-related businesses. Across the country, 23 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana use.

All told, about 86 percent of Americans live in states that allow some degree of legal cannabis use, according to the report. Beyond actual marijuana production and sales, more ancillary businesses are emerging, including security, insurance and e-commerce companies that support the entire supply chain.

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