4 Non-weed industries that have benefitted from cannabis legalization


In the US, the cannabis industry is anticipated to hit sales of $31 billion in 2021. This massive number comes thanks to the increase in states legalizing the use of the plant recreationally, as well as even more states legalizing medical marijuana.

But it’s not just pot-sellers and who are benefitting from cannabis legalization. The longer legal cannabis sales exist in certain states, the easier it is to see how the availability of legal weed has ripple effects on businesses well outside of the cannabis industry.

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So far, it seems to be helping many of those businesses. In some cases, it’s helping quite a lot.

We explored some of the ways cannabis legalization has positively affected non-weed-related businesses in the U.S.

1. Tourism

Recent data suggests that the mere fact that cannabis is legal in certain states is spiking tourism to major cities in those states. Cities like Denver, Seattle, and Portland are hotter than ever. Canada is also becoming an increasingly popular destination, likely in part because they legalized cannabis in 2018.

RELATED: What is cannatourism? Everything you should know about the newest trend in travel

A new trend that legalized states are capitalizing on is ‘cannatourism’. This is the concept of creating a vacation experience around cannabis consumption. This may look like a charming bed and breakfast that serves THC-infused cocktails at happy hour, or a tour of a cannabis grow facility with a stop by a dispensary on the way.

The cannatourism idea is a great way for recreational users to enjoy the benefits of cannabis while on vacation. And for those who use cannabis medically, cannatourism provides a way to travel while sticking to their health regimen.

2. Construction

Did you know that hemp is an excellent ingredient in creating building materials? It can be pressed into particleboard, which can lower costs for construction. A new development by some progressive companies is making hemp into a concrete-like substance.

RELATED: Hemp-Based Building Material Takes Green Living to New Highs

Not only does the use of hemp for building lower costs, but it also creates a greener, more sustainable alternative to traditional building materials. There is a growing market of people that are choosing to build more eco-friendly, so this is an attractive option for some.

3. Security

Cannabis is expensive, so it’s vital for dispensaries to have a solid security plan in place.

At the beginning of their business development, new cannabis businesses hire security firms to create a proactive safety plan. This helps them promote a safe business model from the start. Once the business is established, there needs to be a surveillance system in place day and night, meaning cannabis companies need to invest in high-tech security systems.

Because good security is necessary to qualify for a license to sell weed, cannabis surveillance has grown to be a multi-million dollar market.

4. Garden supply companies

As cannabis becomes legal in more states, more people are choosing to grow cannabis plants at home.

While there are plenty of cannabis-specific soil companies popping up, many companies selling gardening materials not originally intended for cannabis growth are reaping the rewards of legalization.

For instance, ScottsMiracle-Gro has become one of the top companies to target cannabis enthusiasts, since their soil can be used for cannabis plants.

Worthy of note: Social services

This isn’t an industry per se, but another benefit of legalizing marijuana is the taxes that the state can collect. These taxes can be used for anything that the state needs, whether it be funneling the money into the education system, improving roads, or improving social services programs.

The numbers do not lie in this area. Between 2015 and 2017, the Colorado Department of Education took in $140 million in cannabis revenue. This money was funneled directly back into the state’s younger populations.

While many states do not have an excise tax on the purchase of medical marijuana and only charge the state’s sales tax, there is often an excise tax on the purchase of recreational marijuana in states where it is legal.


Not only does the legal cannabis industry make it easier to get high and access medical marijuana, but it can also help many industries around it, and, in so doing, boost the economies of states where it is legal. What can’t it do?

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