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How Do Cannabis Industry Loan Default Rates Compare To Mainstream Businesses?

Many headlines were made in the last year that focused on the net financial losses for many of the world’s largest cannabis companies. The losses can be attributed to a number of factors, and are not limited to any single market.

Small and medium-sized cannabis companies in the legal industry are better at staying current on business loans according to the CEO of a leading lender to the cannabis industry, San Diego-based FundCanna.

Adam Stettner, CEO of FundCanna, describes the current state of the cannabis industry as “a broken industry with a lot of healthy businesses within it,” pointing to the burdensome 280E federal tax rules that directly impact all cannabis companies that ‘touch the plant.’

“Stettner, a longtime financial professional and business lender, said his assessment is based on one simple bottom-line fact: His firm, which in three years has approved roughly $287 million in loans to almost 2,000 cannabis loan applicants all across the country, has seen a default rate of slightly more than 2% in that timeframe.” reports Green Market Report.

“Stettner compared that to his pre-cannabis days, when he spent 20 years working on consumer and commercial loans in the traditional lending business. There he helped obtain funding for about 150,000 companies – which returned a default rate of between 6% and 11%.” Green Market Report also stated in its original coverage.

The United States adult-use cannabis industry has generated over $20 billion in total tax revenue since the first legal recreational cannabis purchase was made in Colorado on January 1st, 2014 according to a report by the Marijuana Policy Project.

“Through the first quarter of 2024, states have reported a combined total of more than $20 billion in tax revenue from legal, adult-use cannabis sales. In 2023 alone, legalization states generated more than $4 billion in cannabis tax revenue from adult-use sales, which is the most revenue generated by cannabis sales in a single year.” the Marijuana Policy Project stated in a press release.

79% of people living in the United States lived in a county with at least one regulated cannabis dispensary according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. The Pew Research Center also found the following:

  • 74% of people in the U.S. live in a state where recreational or medical cannabis is legal
  • There are nearly 15,000 cannabis dispensaries in the U.S.
  • California has the most overall dispensaries (3,659)
  • Oklahoma has the most dispensaries per capita (36 dispensaries for every 100,000 residents)

Total legal cannabis sales in the United States are expected to reach $31.4 billion in 2024 according to a recent analysis by Whitney Economics. Additionally, leading cannabis jobs platform Vangst, in conjunction with Whitney Economics, estimates that the legal cannabis industry now supports 440,445 full time-equivalent cannabis jobs in the United States.

Whitney Economics also projects the following legal cannabis sales figures in the United States for the coming years:

  • 2024: $31.4 billion (9.1% growth from 2023)
  • 2025: $35.2 billion (12.1% growth from 2024)
  • 2030: $67.2 billion
  • 2035: $87.0 billion

The emerging legal cannabis industry in the United States is projected to add roughly $112 billion to the nation’s economy in 2024 according to an analysis by MJBiz Daily. The projection is part of the company’s 2024 MJBiz Factbook.

“The total U.S. economic impact generated by regulated marijuana sales could top $112.4 billion in 2024, about 12% more than last year,” MJBiz stated in its initial reporting.