grand teton national park wyoming

How Many Wyoming Residents Support Legalizing Cannabis?

Cannabis remains prohibited in Wyoming, whether the use is for recreational or medical purposes. Selling any amount of cannabis in Wyoming is a felony, punishable by a fine of $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

Wyoming’s emerging hemp industry started to establish a footprint in the state after the 2018 Farm Bill was adopted at the federal level. The Farm Bill legalized hemp production and related product sales across the nation.

However, many consumable hemp-derived products are now subject to a new law in Wyoming that re-prohibited certain sectors of the state’s hemp industry. The law is currently being challenged by a handful of affected Wyoming hemp-based businesses.

Wyoming is bordered by six states – Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho. Montana and Colorado permit recreational and medical cannabis sales. South Dakota and Utah only permit medical cannabis sales. Idaho and Nebraska do not permit either forms of sales.

A University of Wyoming study from 2020 found that “Over half (54 percent) of Wyoming residents now say they support allowing adults in Wyoming to legally possess marijuana for personal use.”

“This continues the steady increase in support observed from 2014, 2016 and 2018, when support rose from 37 percent to 41 percent to 49 percent, respectively.” the University stated.

“As was the case in 2018, a large majority (85 percent) of Wyoming residents say they support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes if a doctor prescribes it. This has remained steady from 2018, when 86 percent reported that they support this.” the University stated regarding medical cannabis reform.

“Three-quarters of Wyoming residents (75 percent) believe that people convicted of possessing small amounts of marijuana should not serve time in jail. This has increased from 69 percent in 2018 and from 66 percent in 2014.” the University concluded.

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.