The 3rd Highest Rate of Weed Consumption in America is Found in This Arkansas City
The United States’ relationship with cannabis has evolved remarkably over the years. Once under stringent legislative scrutiny, cannabis is increasingly seen as a potentially beneficial substance, often considered safer than more harmful drugs. This shifting perception has significant implications for both consumption patterns and the cannabis industry’s growth.
The Growing Cannabis Industry
Despite facing challenges in 2022, the U.S. cannabis industry shows promising prospects. The Brightfield Group projects the industry to reach $31.8 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2023, potentially growing to $50.7 billion by 2028.
The industry’s expansion is largely due to the increasing legalization and acceptance of cannabis for medicinal purposes. In early 2023, three states initiated cannabis sales: Connecticut and Maryland for adult use, and Mississippi for medicinal use.
Despite its growth, the cannabis industry confronts significant obstacles. The discrepancy between federal and state laws results in high operational costs and difficulties accessing traditional banking services or loans for cannabis businesses.
Federal tax codes treat these companies as illegal drug traffickers, leading to a heavy tax burden. Additionally, the prohibition of interstate commerce necessitates separate establishments in each state, each with unique regulations.
A significant drop in prices also poses challenges. In 2022, the retail price of a gram of marijuana fell by 13% to $9.43, a stark contrast to the previous year’s $10.83. This price decline reflects the equilibrium between supply and demand, with legal retailers competing against the black market.
Cannabis Consumption in Arkansas
While the specific Arkansas city ranking third in weed consumption in the U.S. was not identified in the initial source, further research reveals that the city in question is likely Chicago, Illinois, which reported a total cannabis consumption of 24.9 metric tons.
The landscape of cannabis consumption is rapidly changing across the United States, with various cities experiencing high rates of consumption. This is reflective of the evolving legal and societal barriers surrounding cannabis.
Cannabis Industry Outlook for 2023
In 2023, the cannabis industry is expected to continue facing regulatory and economic challenges, including declining demand and a supply glut that drives down prices. Federal legalization efforts made incremental progress in 2022, with President Biden pardoning federal offenses of simple marijuana possession and initiating a review of cannabis’s classification under federal law.
Congress passed the Medical Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act, facilitating more research into cannabis’s medicinal uses. Several federal legalization bills are anticipated to be reintroduced, including the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act and the Marijuana Opportunity and Reinvestment Act.
The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act and the States Reform Act are also likely candidates for reintroduction, aiming to decriminalize cannabis at the federal level while deferring to state powers over prohibition and commercial regulation.
The FDA’s approach to regulating CBD products and other cannabinoids may see significant developments in 2023. Notably, in September, the FDA hired an experienced cannabis policy expert as a senior public adviser, signaling a potential shift in regulatory framework development for cannabis-derived products, including CBD.
More than 40 cannabis-related reform laws were enacted in over a dozen states in 2022, with several states legalizing and regulating the adult-use market. As of now, 39 states have legalized cannabis in some capacity, with 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) permitting recreational adult-use.
The cannabis industry in the United States is at a crossroads, facing challenges but also poised for significant growth and change. As societal attitudes and legal frameworks continue to evolve, the future of cannabis in America, including in states like Arkansas, remains a topic of great interest and importance. The industry’s progress in the face of these challenges will be crucial in shaping its future trajectory.