According to estimates, the marijuana industry could out-earn the National Football League as early as next year.
Revenue in the U.S. from legal recreational and medical pot rang in at between $8.6 billion and $10 billion in 2018, according to the New York Post. That was already about three quarters of the $14 billion earned by the NFL in 2017.
But that junior status for the pot industry won’t last long. According to some estimates, Americans could spend as much as $50 billion a year on pot in the next few years.
“By the end of 2023, sales of legal cannabis in the United States could exceed Americans’ collective spending on gym memberships,” MJBizDaily Research Editor Eli McVey said according to the Post.
“But legal sales represent just a fraction of the estimated total potential demand for cannabis in the United States, which is roughly $50 billion to $60 billion when black-market demand is included,” McVey continued.
“Legal marijuana will create a $39 billion to $48 billion boost for the economy this year alone, with the potential to surpass the $100 billion mark in 2023,” the paper added.
Meanwhile, in 2018, the NFL’s earnings hit about $15 billion, not quite the $25 billion goal set by league chief, Roger Goodell.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.