Americans forked over $5.4 billion last year for legal medical and recreational marijuana, according to new estimates from ArcView Market Research and New Frontier Data, two marijuana industry market research groups, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. That number is more than the amount of money Americans reportedly spent on Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns combined in 2015.
Legal sales of the drug are expected to increase by 25 percent this year to reach $6.7 billion in the U.S., according to the report. Sales for weed are expected to continue to grow at a 30 percent annual rate over the next five years as more states move to legalize marijuana, ArcView estimated. At that growth, the cannabis industry would pull in roughly $22 billion in annual revenue by 2020.
“I think that we are going to see in 2016 this next wave of investors, the next wave of business operators, and people who’ve sort of been watching or dipping their toe in, really starting to swing for the fences and take it really seriously,” ArcView CEO Troy Dayton said, according to Time.
One of the biggest drivers of growth is likely to be new legalization laws that are passed by more states. The growth in edibles, which are priced higher, has also reportedly helped increase sales.
“They also come at higher price points than the flower does, which means the businesses are able to capture higher sales per customer through the sales of these new products,” said New Frontier Director of Analytics John Kagia, who wrote the report, Time reported.
The $5.4 billion figure represents only legal sales, the Washington Post noted. While it is hard to hard to know how much illegal sales of marijuana account for, drug policy experts estimated in 2012 the total market value of legal and illegal marijuana sales to be somewhere between $15 billion and $30 billion.