April 1, 2023

cannabis as a cash crop

According to a report released on November 2 by Leafly.com and Whitney Economics, marijuana grown in 2021 for the state-legal adult-use market had a market harvest cash value of over $5 billion, ranking it as the sixth most lucrative cash crop in the country. On a wholesale basis, only maize, soybeans, wheat, hay, and cotton generate more revenue.


Cannabis is farmed for the legal market in New Jersey, Alaska, and Massachusetts. It is considered to be the “single most valuable crop.”


Adults in 15 states will be able to purchase cannabis products from state-licensed retail establishments as of October 2022. According to the study, 13,297 legal cannabis farms are operating in those 15 states, and thousands of people are employed there full-time.


According to the authors’ subsequent analysis, the overall amount of marijuana farmed in these jurisdictions increased by 24 % over the past year in 2021, reaching 2,834 metric tons.


State Policy Manager for NORML Jax James said, Legalizing and regulating cannabis allows for more job possibilities, larger tax income, and safe access to high-quality goods at increasingly reasonable costs. This economic evidence demonstrates why legalizing cannabis is a better course of action than criminal prohibition.


Despite being one of the top agricultural crops in America, the legal marijuana market still has several exclusive obstacles, such as excessive taxes, a lack of banking or credit options, expensive insurance rates, and exorbitant licensing fees. Additionally, numerous state agencies and the United States Department of Agriculture do not gather data on the cultivation and sale of cannabis.


The report’s authors came to the conclusion that it’s time to remove the stigma associated with cannabis production. A lot of state agricultural organizations and decision-makers still hold cannabis growers in low regard. Certain right-to-farm legislation expressly forbids the cultivation of cannabis. The majority of cannabis producers are required by legislation to keep their crops hidden from view as if being intoxicated by merely looking at a fan leaf were possible. These unjust and pointless actions are conducted against a legitimate crop that is one of the most popular agricultural goods in every state that has legalized adult use.




Cannabis prices decreased despite a year of unprecedented inflation, as reported in the new Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report 2022, which was released on November 2 . 554 more metric tons of cannabis were produced for adult use in the US in 2022 compared to the previous year. The crop’s worth decreased by $1 billion, though. This is so that marijuana costs will decrease if it is legalized. This summer, in Colorado, wholesale costs have reached record low due to industrial farming and advanced technologies. Oregon has a $4 per gram flower price.


More price reductions are anticipated. As a result, the paper concludes that we are just halfway out of prohibition.


In the previous year, 2,834 metric tons of adult-use cannabis were grown, as reported in the second annual Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report 2022. Federal use studies show that only around 14 percent of the yearly marijuana demand in the United States, 2,834 tons is satisfied. As a result, prohibition is yet 24% from being a devastating failure. You must speak up if you want Congress and the remaining restricted states to legalize marijuana.


According to the Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report 2022, Western US marijuana producers often expanded too much during the previous year. Meanwhile, farmers in the Midwest and East did not produce enough to satisfy the demand in their areas. Licensed farmers are prohibited from selling over state lines by federal law. The black market, however, does. Legal farmers in the West are harmed by this dynamic, while Midwest and East Coast customers are overcharged. For instance, marijuana costs in these two states are among the highest in the nation. Some of the lowest prices are paid by Colorado, Oregon, and California residents.


According to their findings, Congress has to submit President Biden’s cannabis reform proposals this year in order to fulfill the wishes of 68% of voters. Americans want to support craft, heritage, and sustainable cannabis with their money, but they are unable to do so as of yet. With each day they wait, small farms fail, and corporate farms take control.


In response to the field’s rapid change, dozens more farmers reported in, showing regional booms and busts.




Cannabis ranked as the fifth most profitable crop in the US in 2021, according to a leafy study. In fact, only hay, soybeans, wheat, and corn scored higher than cannabis, which also outperformed rice, cotton, and peanuts. It would be intriguing to see whether including data on medical cannabis growth would raise its ranking.


And although the crop was the fifth-most lucrative in the US as a whole in 2020, it was the most valuable crop in Oregon, Nevada, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Colorado. It came in second in Arizona, third overall in Illinois and Michigan, and fourth in Arizona.


2020’s cannabis crop in Alaska was more valuable than the sum of all the other agricultural products put together. Alaska is not recognized as a model for agriculture,  but it’s still a notable fact.


The fact that Massachusetts’ abundant cranberry crop lagged behind cannabis production was another surprise.


Cannabis was first made legal for adult use in Colorado in 2012, and today it is the state’s most lucrative crop. More significantly, it has now outperformed the black market, with authorized shops providing 80% of the cannabis used in the state. It would be wise for the other states to pay attention. Legal markets appear to need some time to replace unlawful sales.


California, the nation’s largest agricultural state, was conspicuously absent from the rankings. A good combination is almonds and grapes. With annual sales of $5.6 billion for almonds and $4.5 billion for grapes, respectively, California’s top cash crop was almonds. For cannabis to beat those figures, it will need to catch up. But as the cannabis industry in California develops, it might eventually overtake all others.



The marijuana market in the United States is rapidly growing and has proved highly profitable by ranking among the top 10 most valuable crops in the country, being surpassed by only a handful of crops. It even stands as the most valuable in some states in the country.





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