Pot sales poised to outpace ice cream sales

Packaged marijuana is displayed for sale at retail shop Cannabis City in Seattle. Sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States are expected to reach $5 billion or more in 2017. AP PHOTO

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Packaged marijuana is displayed for sale at retail shop Cannabis City in Seattle. Sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States are expected to reach $5 billion or more in 2017. AP PHOTO

Retail sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the United States are expected to reach $5 billion to $6 billion this year and surge to as high as $17 billion by 2021, according to new projections from Marijuana Business Daily.

Last year, sales of medical and recreational marijuana reached an estimated $4 billion to $4.5 billion — up about 30 percent from the previous year — and are expected to grow by about 33 percent this year, compared to 2016, according to the trade publication’s 2017 Marijuana Business Factbook.

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The legalization of marijuana in new states, including Ohio — where the state’s medical marijuana program expected to be up and running by late 2018 — is expected to spur much of the future sales growth.

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But even now, sales are on par with annual ice cream sales ($5.1 billion), and salted snacks, such as Doritos, Cheetos and Funyuns ($4.9 billion), according to the report.

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