In their 2017 annual report, cannabis market research firm New Frontier Data has projected that the cannabis industry will grow to over $24 billion by 2025. The report factored in a number of variables, including regulation changes, demographic trends, population growth, qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, and more. “This is such a dynamic environment that even minor changes do have substantive (effects),” explained John Kagia, the company's executive vice president of industry analytics.
The report also projects that employment in the industry could reach 255,000 jobs by 2019. Kagia believes the statistics show that the canna-biz is not “just a flash in the pan.” The forecast does not even include states that may legalize recreational or medical marijuana between now and 2025. “It’s not hard to imagine that the total cannabis industry could be substantially larger than even our conservative projections,” Kagia said.
Not everyone is quite so optimistic about the cannabis industry forecast, however. The Marijuana Policy Group claim that 2016 forecasts made by New Frontier and other groups “grossly overestimate” potential sales. “In general, almost all of those quick-and-dirty national estimates come from back-of-the-envelope calculations, and they are wrong by a factor of 2x or more,” MPG economist Miles Light said.
Kagia has said that the current year's projections are made with “an even more precise model” than previous research, and may even be on the conservative side. “It’s very hard to look at both the numbers and associated economic dynamics and envision that this genie could be put back in the bottle,” he said.