Cannabis, Food and Beverage, and Alcohol Industries in the United States

The birth of major industries in the United States hold the power to increase economic growth through production and consumption, export potential and the creation of jobs. Standards and regulations are created to ensure safety and the industry will be monitored by a larger agency.


Food and Beverage

The food and beverage industry is monitored by a large variety of agencies including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Many state and local agencies have impacts. There are two major components of this industry, production and distribution. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, there were approximately 5,122,600 people working in this industry with an expected increase of 14%. It is currently estimated that the food and beverage industry in the United States created 90,173 million in revenue so far in 2018.

food and beverage vs cannabis industry - gloriblends


The Alcohol industry is legally regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) works to prevent tax revenue loss through contraband sales. Distribution, production and sales are determined by individual states 16.5% of the beverages sold are alcohol according to Parkview, a major distributor. The United States is the 2nd largest beer producer in the world (second to China) and the 4th in the production of wine. Alcohol sales in the US amounted to a whopping 223.2 billion in 2016. Smirnoff Vodka was the best-selling Vodka worldwide in 2015 based on generated sales. Many employees working in this industry are included in the counts of the food and beverage employment rates, but the alcohol business employs millions.



The Cannabis industry is the newest addition in comparison and hold enormous potential. While it is currently stunted in many ways due to federal law restrictions, the cannabis industry is ready to boom! Right now, marijuana is considered a Schedule 1 drug and illegal. Individual states are left to decide the laws regarding the plant. What could legalizing the sale of marijuana mean? It would translate into huge revenue, more jobs, export opportunities and the reduction in black market sales.


According to Marijuana Business Daily, legal sales of marijuana is set to jump from $10 billion in 2018 to $20 billion on 2022. They also estimate this industry employs between 125,000 and 160,000 full-time workers and this should increase 21% a year to 340,000 in 2022. There is a large demand for this product and it brings in 52.5 billion between legal and illegal sales.


Part of the cannabis industry has already been legalized in all 50 states and that is hemp. Industrial hemp is used to make many products such as paper, fabrics and textiles, food, cosmetics, rope and building materials. More refined hemp products are being used in the production of health products, including CBD. According to the Hemp Business Journal, CBD product sales reached $190 million in 2017, while total hemp product sales hit $820 million. They estimate that the hemp industry is set to hit 1 billion in 2018.

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