Leafly’s first-ever Cannabis Harvest Report lists cannabis as the fifth most valuable crop in the U.S. Looking at cannabis production numbers in the 11 states where both medical and adult-use cannabis is available, the report shows 13,042 cannabis farm licenses that grow 2,278 metric tons of cannabis annually – AKA enough to roll roughly two billion joints.
Compared against U.S. Department of Agriculture data for 2020, cannabis’s wholesale harvest value of $6.2 billion ranks behind corn, hay, soybeans, and wheat but ahead of peanuts and cotton. Since 2015, Leafly’s annual Jobs Report fills a vital information gap on cannabis employment and sales data. Federal prohibition of cannabis means the U.S. Department of Labor doesn’t tally cannabis jobs and, labeled as a Schedule I drug, the U.S. Department of Agriculture also neglects cannabis crops data and excludes cannabis farmers from all of its programs.
In a press release, Leafly said, “Our goal with the Leafy Harvest Report is to quantify annual cannabis production in operational adult-use states, just like the USDA’s Economic Research Service does for all non-cannabis crops. This is the first time anyone’s done this, as far as we know. Voters, lawmakers, and industry leaders need these basic facts to make informed decisions.”
Despite these impressive numbers, state or federal officials rarely track cannabis sales.
While cannabis ranked no lower than fifth out of the 11 states analyzed, it ranked number one in Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Alaska, and Massachusetts. Colorado’s 657 metric tons sold yearly is just ahead of California at 514 metric tons.
These staggering sales numbers come despite sub-par insurance and banking options available to the industry.
“Due to federal prohibition, America does not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. They are subject to more state and federal taxes, regulations, and stigma than any other type of farmer,” said David Downs, Leafly’s California Bureau Chief, and the report’s lead author. “These barriers hurt small legacy farmers the most. This plant is helping generate wealth, employment, and community investment around the country, and our legislators need to recognize the opportunity cannabis presents for Americans — today.”