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HighQ: California leads North America in marijuana sales

Photo by Jenni Konrad via Flickr Creative Commons

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According to a new report by the Arcview Group, a marijuana market research and investment firm, California leads North America in sales of legal marijuana.

The company estimates that Californians bought $1.8 billion worth of legal marijuana in 2016, outpacing Colorado, which has both medical and recreational weed, while California only has the former.

Arcview estimates that the sales of legal weed in California account for 27 percent of the sales in North America and that the state is expected to hit $6 billion in sales in the next six years. They expect the North American market to be worth more than $20 billion, with the potential to surpass sales of wine and to rival the organic food industry. But, it will be a while before we see the legal market match illegal sales in North America, which Arcview estimates at nearly $50 billion.

Clearly, states stand to make a significant amount of money by taxing the industry. To hear about Colorado's plan to defend the state's industry against federal encroachment and about Canada's move to legalize recreational pot, click on the audio at the top of this post.

Series: HighQ: Your California pot questions answered

This story is part of Take Two's look at California's burgeoning marijuana industry, with audience Q&As, explorations of personal narratives and an examination of how cannabis is changing the state.

Read more in this series, call or text us your questions at (929) 344-1948 or tweet reporter Jacob Margolis.