Legal weed sales top revenues for Viagra and Cialis

Weed at a dispensary in Oakland, California. Photo by Jeff Ostrowski/The Palm Beach Post

Sports fans who are bombarded with an endless loop of ads for erectile dysfunction drugs might think Viagra and Cialis are massive sellers. In fact, the prescription pills are being outsold by legal weed.

That’s according to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017, compiled by the trade publication Marijuana Business Daily. It says legal pot sales in 2016 totaled $4 billion to $4.5 billion, eclipsing the $2.7 billion in sales racked up by Viagra and Cialis.

The states of Colorado, Washington and California have thriving weed industries, while state programs in Florida, Illinois and New York are getting ramped up.

So far, legal pot is a relatively small industry. Even if one publicly traded firm commanded the entire revenue of the regulated cannabis business, it still wouldn’t crack the Fortune 500. The last spot on the latest list belongs to Burlington Stores, at $5.1 billion.

However, Marijuana Business Daily’s Chris Walsh expects ganja sales to grow to $17 billion by 2021.

“While 2017 growth will be impressive, the longer-term growth potential for the industry is even more promising,” Walsh said.

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