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2016 was a good year for weed. Sales in North America topped $6.7 billion.

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2016 was a good year for weed. Sales in North America topped $6.7 billion.

WATCH  |  Americans are spending more on weed than ever -- $5.8 billion in the last year to be exact.

How much is weed worth in North America? $6.7 billion, and growing.

That's how much consumers in the U.S. and Canada spent on cannabis in 2016, according to fresh data from cannabis market research firm ArcView Market Research.


ArcView's report, which will be published in full in February, shows that figure is 30 percent higher than what North American consumers spent on pot in 2015.

The budding legal pot market

As the legal marijuana market expands in the U.S. and Canada, people are comparing the boom to the rapid growth of the dot-com era. ArcView expects sales to top $20.2 billion by 2021, assuming the compound annual growth rate hovers around 25 percent.

The market is expanding beyond traditional smoking. Forbes reports edibles and concentrates are getting more popular, too.

Legal marijuana efforts

In the U.S., 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana. Marijuana is legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada and Washington D.C. for recreational purposes. Maine has also voted to legalize recreational pot.

Meanwhile in Canada, full legalization of marijuana could come as early as this year.

Redefining DUI laws in states that have legalized pot has become a weedy problem

WATCH |  The legal weed industry is still new and there are plenty of hurdles ahead, such as redefining DUI laws in terms of pot. As it stands, people know how much alcohol they can have in their system to still legally be able to drive. That's not the case with marijuana.

Highbrow concerns

Other big questions about issues such as legal banking for pot retailers and growers remain. And whether the Trump administration will order a federal crackdown on pot is unclear.

But however hazy legal pot's future is, big-name tobacco firms are already planning for legalization. Per Bloomberg, the yearly recreational marijuana market is worth $45 billion and cigarette makers are poised to swoop in and capitalize on pot.

Colorado's early success with legal weed could serve as a guide for states, which could see more tax income, lower crime and an economic boost.


In 2015, Colorado's legal weed business jumped 42 percent to $966.2 million in sales, compared to $699 million in 2014. "The additional tax revenue far exceeds the cost of regulating the system," Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, told Fortune.

Do you live in a state where recreational weed is legal?

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