The National Football League (NFL) is one of the biggest industries in America. The owners make hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and many of the players make tens of millions of dollars a year. The NFL and it's teams employee a lot of people, boost the local economies in the areas they are in, and garner very lucrative TV deals. So it's very significant when someone suggests that the marijuana industry could get bigger than the NFL by 2020, which is the case in a recent Washington Post article:
A report out from Greenwave Advisors, a "comprehensive research and financial analysis for the emerging legalized marijuana industry," projects that legal cannabis could be an industry with revenues of $35 billion by 2020 if marijuana is legalized at the federal level. They note that this is a floor representing revenues in the first year of countrywide legalization.
To put that figure in perspective, $35 billion represents more annual revenue than the NFL (currently $10 billion), and is roughly on par with current revenues for the newspaper publishing industry ($38 billion) and the confectionary industry ($34 billion).
I remember when I told people in my family and some of my friends that I wanted to get into the marijuana industry, and they thought it was silly. I bet if they read this article, they wouldn't think it was silly anymore. Of course, this report is based off of the assumption that marijuana will be legalized nationwide by 2020, which is a big if. However, that 'if' becomes smaller and smaller with every state that legalizes, and every poll that is released showing a growing support to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.