The evolution of the cannabis industry in California is expected to follow in the footsteps of the state’s wine industry, which also made a triumphant comeback following prohibition. As of November 2016, the state of California legalized recreational marijuana with the passage of Proposition 64. Under this new law, adults over the age of 21 can now legally consume, possess, share, and grow marijuana. Even though these recreational users can consume as they please, they still can’t purchase any product from a dispensary, so the state’s economy has yet to experience the effects of full marijuana legalization, though it’s expected to achieve serious gains.
Retail sales of recreational marijuana aren’t set to start until January 1, 2018, which expects to bring in an additional $1.5 billion in sales. This increased tax revenue will also be added to the already booming medical marijuana market, with a total expected market size of $4.27 billion for 2018 and $6.45 billion by 2020. This legal recreational use will make up 61.5% of the overall market, with another 29% staying in the illegal market at first, because it is going to take some time for the industry and consumers to adjust and regulate. The marijuana economy in California is expected to grow, but the rollout of recreational laws will certainly take some time for the state to regulate.