Wednesday, November 2, 2022
The folks at Leafly this week have released this interesting "Cannabis Harvest Report 2022" with an accounting of cannabis farming across the US. Here is part of the start of the report's discussion:
Legal cannabis now supports more than 13,200 American farms in 15 adult-use states. With a wholesale value of $5 billion, recreational marijuana is America's 6th most valuable cash crop, worth more than potatoes or rice....
American cannabis farmers are growing an awesome wave of legal green that weighs some 2,834 metric tons, according to the Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report 2022.
There are now 15 states where adults can go into a state-licensed store and buy legal cannabis. Those 15 states now support 13,297 active legal cannabis farms, which in turn support farm families, communities, and tens of thousands of full-time workers.
Yet this legal crop is missing from USDA reports on agriculture. That's a significant omission with real implications. Americans want to end the Drug War and move consumers to a legal, taxed, and tested crop. Voters and community leaders need production, price, licensing, and crop value data to measure our progress. Regulators in some states cannot supply the most basic fact about their cannabis markets: “How much pot did you grow?” To find the answer, Leafly estimated it for the second year in a row.
The story in 2022 is all about rising production and falling prices. As the legal harvest continued to ramp up in legal states, the average price of cannabis fell over the past twelve months, yielding an adult-use cannabis crop worth $5 billion in wholesale value.
That makes legal cannabis the sixth most valuable crop in the US. Only corn, soybeans, hay, wheat, and cotton bring in more money on a wholesale basis.
Farmers grew 24% more metric tons of adult-use cannabis this year, compared to the year measured in the 2021 Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report. To get a sense of the volume of the past year's cannabis harvest, 2,834 metric tons would fill nearly 15,000 dump trucks lined up end-to-end for up for 45 miles.
We’re only counting the 15 active adult-use states, not the dozens of medical-only states, or crops grown to supply the illicit market. That total number would be about 3 to 5 times larger.
Leafly’s report is a synthesis of licensing records with state cannabis production totals, sales and tax reports, commercial price trends, field measurements, US Department of Agriculture crop values, and expert interviews.