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$1.7 Billion Medical Marijuana Market to Rival Viagra Sales This Year, According to Report

Buddha is gold.
Buddha is gold.
DEA

Born in California in 1996, medical marijuana has grown from a baby bud to a full-blown industry flower that has blossomed across the nation.

Legal in 15 states, medical pot sales this year are projected to reach $1.7 billion, according to the self-proclaimed "first ever investor-grade analysis of the medical marijuana markets" released this week.

That number nears the $1.9 billion annual sales number for Viagra.

Not that the comparison is fair: Viagra gets you up. For many, marijuana is a pain killer and, arguably, a depressant.

Still, the report, The State of the Medical Marijuana Markets 2011, makes it sound like we're all in on the ground floor of a green rush. (Where do we sign up?).

$1.7 Billion Medical Marijuana Market to Rival Viagra Sales This Year, According to Report
Money does grow on trees, apparently.

"We're witnessing the beginning of a legal business ecosystem forming around medical marijuana," the report's editor, Ted Rose, told reporters.

The survey and analysis by by See Change Strategy LLC states that the number of "markets" -- states where medical weed is sold -- will double in the next five years.

An increase in medical-legal states is projected. But demand for pot in states where weed is legit will also expand, according to See Change.

The report also says 24.8 million people are eligible to get doctor's recommendations and buy pot in medical marijuana states.

Rose, editor of the report, in a statement:

Medical marijuana markets are rapidly growing across the country and will reach $1.7 billion this year. We undertook this effort because we noticed a dearth of reliable market information about this politically charged business.

Smokin.'