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  • American Cannabis Report Editorial Staff

Is the US Going to Lose $Billions in Cannabis Revenues by Leaving NAFTA?

A recent article in "The Conversation" sparked our interest regarding how the burgeoning legal Mexican and Canadian cannabis markets might affect the US.

Estimates vary on the potential scale of the state-legalized US cannabis market, but let's pick one from a typically reliable source on economic issues - Forbes Magazine - and use their number: $7.2B in 2016, with an compounded annual growth rate of 17%. And let's not forget the illegal market scale, which is estimated to be $46.4B annually for a grand total of $53.6B annually.

Now let's step back and consider that, of the three members of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), only the US has not legalized cannabis on a federal level.

"Fulfilling a campaign promise, on April 13 [2017] Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau presented a bill to legalise cannabis for recreational uses (medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001). Two weeks later, Mexico’s Congress followed suit, passing a bill to authorise cannabis use for medical and scientific purposes."

The potential market for medicinal cannabis in Mexico is estimated at between $1B and $2B. In Canada, medicinal is estimated at $1B but recreational is estimated at up to $22.6B. And (specific to NAFTA), "Once both countries’ systems are up and running, cannabis trading between Mexico and Canada can begin."

The choices are stark: is the US really going to opt out of trade in a fast-growing industry valued in the multiple-billions annually, while also ceding the chance to be a leader in medicinal research, AND allowing a violent drug trade to continue?

The American Cannabis Report thinks the choice is clear.


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