U.S. Census Bureau Adapts to the Times Capturing the Cannabis Economy

U.S. Census Bureau Adapts to the Times: Capturing the Cannabis Economy

The U.S. Census Bureau is modernizing its approach to data collection by acknowledging the presence of the cannabis economy in its 2022 Economic Census. The evolving business landscape prompts the inclusion of options for companies to self-identify as part of the cannabis industry, signaling a significant step towards recognizing and measuring marijuana-related economic activity.

Traditionally focusing on compiling data to understand various sectors of the economy, the U.S. Census Bureau is now making strides to capture the dynamic cannabis market’s impact. Although the 2022 Economic Census doesn’t feature specific cannabis-related questions, it presents an opportunity for retail and wholesale establishments to indicate cannabis as a primary business activity.

Additionally, the census seeks insights into the value of marijuana products and services produced by American businesses. It includes examples like cannabis-infused foods, beverages, topicals, and even specific products such as tinctures, face creams, shampoos, cakes, and pies. This approach aligns with the goal of maintaining the relevance of the economic census in an ever-changing world.

By adopting a more comprehensive perspective, the federal government acknowledges the tangible presence of products like cannabis-infused gummies within American markets and aims to gather data on such activities. This approach echoes the federal government’s efforts to understand the marijuana market despite its ongoing federal prohibition.

The U.S. Census Bureau’s evolving approach to the cannabis industry reflects broader changes in how marijuana-related businesses are recognized and assessed within the overall economy. The addition of cannabis business codes to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and the Treasury Department’s plan to collect marijuana business data for anti-money laundering efforts all contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the industry’s economic impact.

As the 2022 Economic Census introduces cannabis-related options across various survey forms, it signals a recognition of the cannabis economy’s significance. This milestone, alongside updates that accommodate other evolving sectors like electric vehicles, cryptocurrency, and telemedicine, underscores the Census Bureau’s commitment to reflecting the ever-evolving business landscape and providing comprehensive insights into the nation’s economic activities.

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