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Cannabis was America's 6th most valuable crop in 2022
by Staff Writers
Seattle WA (TDN) Nov 03, 2022

The 2nd Annual Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report values legal cannabis at $5 Billion, surpassing potatoes or rice.

Leafly Holdings, Inc. ("Leafly"), a leading online cannabis discovery marketplace and resource for cannabis consumers, released today its Cannabis Harvest Report, an unparalleled analysis of the last year of cannabis farming in the U.S. Created in partnership with Whitney Economics, a global leader in cannabis and hemp business consulting and economic research, the report offers the most comprehensive look at adult-use cannabis crop licensing, production, and value.

Now in its second year, the Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report calculates what the United States Department of Agriculture does not, and is the only analysis of its kind. Over a period of three months, Leafly's award-winning investigative team performed a one-of-a-kind synthesis of licensing reports with crop production totals, and sales and tax figures from the 15 states with operating cannabis markets.

In some states, cannabis is consistently one of the highest-value crops in the field, but the federal government - and even some state and local governments - do not track harvest amounts, ignoring the value of the crop.

The report outlines the barriers America's cannabis farmers continue to face due to federal marijuana prohibition. For example, licensed cannabis farms often lack access to basic banking services and crop insurance. Those farmers also report trouble obtaining personal mortgages and car loans, due to the nature of their trade.

David Downs, the report's lead author and Leafly's California Bureau Chief, says the report arms consumers and policymakers with information on America's progress toward legalization, and the barriers still ahead.

"Simply put, local and federal governments do not treat cannabis farmers like farmers. There is systematic discrimination at the local, state, and federal level. Adult-use cannabis is a top cash crop in states where it's legal, but that song goes unsung," Downs said.

"There is no federal cannabis policy other than prohibition and our reporting shows that each day's delay punishes the smallest farmers the most. The American cannabis industry is fragmented but publishing otherwise unreported data can help illuminate pathways to an ideal industry."

Key findings from the 2022 Leafly Cannabis Harvest Report:
In 2022, adult-use cannabis farmers in the U.S. have legally grown approximately 2,834 metric tons of cannabis. For comparison, that amount is enough to fill 36 miles of dump trucks parked end to end.

Adult-use cannabis now supports more than 13,297 American farms, in 15 legal states with legal adult-use and medical cannabis markets

Cannabis prices are the highest in Alaska, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada

Marijuana is the No. 1 cash crop in Alaska, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, but regulators do not publish production totals in two of those states.

Recreational marijuana could be legal in half of the United States if the handful of states with cannabis on ballots this November pass them. And a recent Gallup poll found that 68 percent of Americans support adult-use cannabis legalization and 91 percent support medical cannabis. The plant, however, remains federally illegal and the cultivation of a single cannabis plant is a felony that can yield up to a five-year prison sentence and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Known as the informed way to shop for cannabis, Leafly is a marketplace that helps connect millions of annual website visitors to more than 7,800 brands and more than 5,200 dispensaries.

Leafly has been gathering cannabis employment and sales data since 2015 with its annual Jobs Report, filling a crucial information gap created by a lack of data collection from the US Department of Labor, which does not count cannabis jobs due to federal prohibition.

Similarly, the US Department of Agriculture does not account for cannabis crops, and excludes cannabis farmers from all of its programs, due to cannabis' outdated status as a federal Schedule I drug.

To read the report in full, visit here

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