A new report scheduled for full release in February from ArcView Market Research predicts that by 2020, 18 states in the U.S. will have legalized, recreational cannabis.
ArcView is a cannabis-industry firm that matches investors up with businesses.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), an organization dedicated to changing marijuana laws around the country, is a bit more cautious, predicting 12 states by 2017 will have legal cannabis. The MPP is concentrating its efforts in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada.
In ArcView’s report, the consulting firm explains:
“2014 will be remembered as a year when…a sense of inevitability about national legalization became conventional wisdom among elected officials and the general public”
However, the marijuana legalization movement hasn’t been without its setbacks.
In Florida, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson poured over $5 million into opposing that state’s medical marijuana ballot initiative.
And while Colorado’s experiment has gone well for the most part, there is a fight brewing over edibles after some kids have been hospitalized for accidentally ingesting marijuana-infused cookies.
Mason Tvert of the MPP also mentions the possibility of an “unexpected event” that could help or harm the movement. A large endorsement from a celebrity would help, while some sort of high-profile incident could set the movement back years.