Study: A National Medical Marijuana Program Would Save Medicaid $1 Billion a Year

The marijuana industry is growing like a weed. Last year, legal weed sales grew by 34%, according to cannabis research firm ArcView, and by 2021, legal sales (which includes medical and recreational pot) are expected to exceed $22 billion. Investment firm Cowen Co. has an even more bullish forecast on legal weed, calling for $50 billion in sales by 2026. These estimates are what have revenue-hungry state governments, as well as investors, drooling with excitement.

Take Colorado as a good example. Residents in Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2012 along with Washington, becoming the first two states to do so. Last year, Colorado generated more than $1.3 billion in legal weed sales, two-thirds of which came from the recreational side of the equation, leading to almost $200 million in tax and licensing-fee revenue.

A marijuana plant in the sun.

Image source: Getty Images.

Investors have relished in the

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