Americans Now Spend More on Weed Than Chocolate, Vitamin Water, and Newspapers
Proof That Cannabis Is Essential Nowadays
Cannabis is the most widely consumed drug in the United States, despite its federally illegal status.
Each year, more Americans try weed for the first time and go on to use it. Millions around the county already consume pot for a wide variety of medical or recreational reasons. What was once considered a dangerous substance is already becoming more widely accepted and consumed by people each day as a safe medication.
A new study even goes to show that Americans are spending more money on marijuana than chocolate and other consumer goods. In fact, the study by MJBizDaily, revealed that Americans don’t mind spending serious cash on weed. It goes on to detail that in 2022, Americans spent almost $30 billion on legal marijuana, $10 billion more than the amount they spent on chocolate for the previous year.
Additionally, MJBizDaily reported that sales of legal marijuana eclipsed sales of other consumer goods such as beer, pain medications, and opioids.
Should these patterns continue, legal cannabis sales have the potential of reaching $57 billion in 2030, based on New Frontier Data estimates.
Drivers of Growth
There are several significant reasons that are driving this continuous growth. Of course, many more states legalize medical and recreational use laws each year. This naturally causes more consumers than ever to be exposed to cannabis and new cannabis products that are developed regularly. Society-wise, it’s becoming seen as more normal than ever to consume cannabis as it’s recognized widely for its therapeutic applications.
According to New Frontier Data CEO Gary Allen: “The seismic shift in public perception around cannabis is fueled in part by the growing exposure that Americans have through legal, regulated markets,” he said in a statement. “Even in the absence of a federal framework, the resilience and growth potential of a determined industry is laying the foundation for a safe and sustainable consumer category,” he adds.
Despite the fact that marijuana is still a federally illegal substance, legal cannabis sales continue to grow. Businesses are finding ways to operate even if there are challenges especially with banking. In addition, the black market still causes problems for the legal cannabis industry but this hasn’t stopped the public from accepting marijuana as something that should already be seen as normal. This trend is evident not just in the United States, but in other countries around the world.
Cannabis is a Healthier Alternative to Booze, Cigarettes
Alcohol and tobacco were the biggest vices of the 20th century.
Consumers all around the world spent billions to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. While both are still around, legal, and widely available, we now know thanks to research that these vices are actually deadly and addicting. They are both responsible for millions of deaths around the world.
But cannabis has shown to be a terrific alternative to both tobacco and alcohol. So much so, that it has posed a threat to the Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco industries. It’s simple: cannabis is much safer. Nobody has ever died from smoking weed, and people have been smoking pot since ancient times.
In a 2022 Gallup poll, findings confirmed a reduction in cigarette smoking within the past few decades. The poll results showed that just 11% of American adults surveyed smoke cigarettes, while these figures were 45% when the poll took place in the mid-1950’s. Meanwhile, 60% of Americans admitted to smoking cannabis while just 4% of them said they smoked pot back in 1969.
There are clearly changing attitudes towards these substances as a whole, thanks to better research and education. In 2019, majority of Americans already acknowledged that smoking cigarettes is “very harmful”. “Smoking cigarettes is clearly on the decline and is most likely to become even more of a rarity in the years ahead,” explained Dr. Frank Newport, Gallup’s Senior Scientist. “This reflects both public awareness of its negative effects and continuing government efforts at all levels to curtail its use,” he says in an NPR article.
The same goes for alcohol.
But sure, they are both psychoactive compounds that we can consume recreationally to get our mind off things. And yes, they can both be stimulants or depressants. It’s so common for people these days to look for something that helps them decompress after a stressful time or a long day at work. Cannabis and alcohol are both the same in that respect.
Yet they aren’t: alcohol has taken lives, and dependency of it has ruined families and societies as a whole. Drunk driving itself has taken thousands of lives each year. That said, one doesn’t even have to be an alcoholic to experience the long-lasting negative effects that booze has on the human body.
According to studies, drinkers drastically reduce their alcohol consumption on days that they smoke marijuana. And more people are choosing cannabis over booze – just look at the proliferation of infused beverages these days.
While there seems to be no good news with regard to federal legalization of marijuana just yet, there is also no stopping the legal cannabis industry. It has certainly not reached its peak and will likely not any time soon. More Americans (and people worldwide) are now understanding the numerous mental and physical benefits of cannabis, and don’t mind spending money on it – while a growing number of the population see cannabis as an essential tool for healthy living.
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