Recreational marijuana could produce $1.12 billion in sales within five years of legalization, creating 20,000 direct and indirect jobs and $300 million in taxation.
That was the estimate offered Wednesday by a Denver-based marijuana industry consultant who keynoted a Minneapolis conference on the impacts of legalization business and government.
Sal Barnes, a director of the Marijuana Policy Group, which consults with both business and government on marijuana policies and planning, based that estimated on Minnesota having a slightly smaller market potential than the comparably populated Colorado.
About 7.9 percent of Minnesotans say they used cannabis in the last month, a figure that is below the national average of 9.5 percent and well behind usage rates of 20 percent in states that have legalized recreational usage, such as Colorado. That, Barnes said, is the difference between 860,000 customers in Colorado and 341,000 in Minnesota for states that are nearly equal in population of adults over age 21.