Cannabis Businesses Now Outnumber Craft Brewers

There are more cannabis businesses that actually touch the plant than there are microbreweries in the United States.

Of the estimated 21,000-33,000 companies involved in the cannabis industry, according to the latest data collected by the Marijuana Business Daily, 7,000 - 11,000 of the companies listed are dispensaries, recreational stores and wholesale cultivators.

And that's a conservative estimate. "The actual number of businesses could be much higher, given that many companies work with a variety of industries and might only have a client or two – or one project – in the cannabis industry," says the MBD.

Compare this with another fast-growing industry - the nationwide market of craft breweries, of which were are 4,225 at the end of 2015, according to the National Brewer's Association. The brewing industry employed around 43,000 Americans,and had a combined economic impact of more than $246 billion. While there isn't any comparable cannabis industry data available for previous years, we do know that the cannabis industry has grown from a $1.6-billion industry in 2013, to an estimated $3 billion in 2015.

For a breakdown of cannabis businesses in the United States, check out the chart from Marijuana Business Daily below.

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Saying you work in cannabis is sure to raise some eyebrows. Some people might be curious, others might not take you seriously, and still others might ask how they can invest. These cannabis executives dish on the reactions they get when they say they work in the space, and how those reactions have evolved over the past 10 years.

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