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Ever Wonder Why the Legal Cannabis Industry Thrives in the American South?

BY: Chronic Staff | Recent News | December 24, 2021

California, Colorado, and Oregon are the states that garnered the most attention when it comes to the cannabis industry.

Jim Cacciopo, the CEO of Jushi, a marijuana company that has 26 dispensaries across Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, and Massachusetts, said that the south is the biggest frontier in cannabis. In Virginia alone, there will be 6 more stores to open by 2023. His company’s stores are just outside of Washington, D.C. in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. He said that while California may have the title of the country’s largest market in marijuana by annual sales, he foresees states like Virginia and Georgia as having the greatest growth potential. Virginia may still be a small medical market but with a population of 8.5 million people, it has the potential to be bigger than Colorado that has 5.7 million residents and $2.1 billion in annual sales in the cannabis market. It is also expected that the state will launch an adult-use program by 2024 which could triple the sales immediately.

Let’s remember that most Americans believe marijuana should be legal. Legalization is continuing to spread state by state. As per the latest Gallup survey, 68% of Americans support it with 83% Democrats, 71% of Independents and 50% of Republicans being in favor of ending prohibition.

Democrats have carried the issue of cannabis legalization for decades. However, in 2020, states that are usually thought of as republican passed legal cannabis laws. Recently, Rep. Nancy Mace, a Republican from South Carolina, presented a bill that would end federal cannabis prohibition. The south indeed is in the right direction in terms of the cannabis industry in the foreseeable future.

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