AMER­ICA’S $11 BIL­LION MAR­I­JUANA GOLD RUSH

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - COMMENT -

Ore­gon be­came the first state to de­crim­i­nalise pot in 1973. There are nine states where recre­ational cannabis is le­gal, in­clud­ing Cal­i­for­nia and Colorado, for adults over the age of 21.

Ore­gon has some of the most re­laxed rules, al­low­ing ev­ery res­i­dent to grow four plants per house­hold and pos­sess 8oz at home.

Med­i­cal mar­i­juana is le­gal in an­other 29 states, 17 states limit medic­i­nal use, while four states – Idaho, Kansas, South Dakota and Ne­braska – ban it.

It is still il­le­gal to smoke in public spa­ces or within 100 yards of a school.

A re­cent poll showed that 64 per cent of Amer­i­cans favoured le­gal­i­sa­tion.

Na­tional mar­i­juana sales are ex­pected to top $11bn (€8.9bn) this year and reach $21bn (€17bn) by 2021, be­com­ing more lu­cra­tive than the soft drinks in­dus­try.

Mar­i­juana raised $1.4bn (€1.1bn) in taxes last year. A new study es­ti­mated the in­dus­try could gen­er­ate 1.1mil­lion jobs by 2025 if it is le­galised in all states. The in­dus­try em­ploys 125,000 peo­ple na­tion­wide.

Celebrity ad­vo­cates of le­gal­i­sa­tion in­clude Barack Obama and Jen­nifer Anis­ton.

Prod­ucts on the mar­ket in­clude weed cola, weed pizza and weed cof­fee.

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