Through more state, or federal, legalization, cannabis will continue to become more important
Cannabis continues to rank among the most valuable crops in the US, currently reaching sixth place. Although during the first report of cannabis marketplace Leafly Holdings a year ago, the cannabis crop was hiding the fifth position, cannabis cultivation continues to have an incredible dominance, especially when considering that it is not legal at the federal level.
While earning sixth place as the most valuable crop may be seen as a victory for the cannabis industry overall, the plant’s federally illegal status continues to unprotect farmers in the sector, which in turn hurts the value of wholesale production. The industry is still waiting for significant movement in Congress on the issue, but it seems that everything has stalled again.
As has become customary during the first week of November, Leafly released its annual crop report. In it, the company noted that adult-use marijuana growers cultivated approximately 2,834 metric tons of adult-use cannabis in 15 cannabis-legal states in 2022.
The previous year’s report analyzed cannabis production figures in the 11 states where Americans had access to medical and adult-use cannabis and found that 13,042 cannabis cultivation licenses in those states grow 2,278 metric tons of cannabis per year. While there was still a 24% increase, the value of the crop fell by over $1 billion due to declining prices for legal cannabis. This pushed the crop down one position in the overall ranking.
This year’s report estimates that about $5 billion is the established value of cannabis grown in the US. Last year, based on factors from that period, the report said cannabis had a wholesale harvest value of $6.2 billion. Cotton was the crop that was now able to put cannabis one place behind.