The legalization of marijuana has been a hot-button issue in the U.S. for several years now. More and more states are moving to legalize marijuana (whether for medical or recreational use, or both). A total of 37 states have already legalized medical marijuana. The legalization movement has been buoyed by the fact that many people are beginning to see the economic benefits of legalized marijuana, whether through taxation, jobs, or a boost in tourism.
The legalization of recreational marijuana and medical cannabis (and a few other factors) is fueling an economic boom in states such as Colorado, New Jersey, California, Washington, and Oregon. It also brings some much-needed financial relief to cash-strapped cities and states across America. In 2015 alone, Colorado collected more than $135 million in excise tax on recreational pot sales. That’s the most of any state to date, but it’s only a glimpse of what ending marijuana prohibition could mean for all 50 states combined.
What would a U.S. marijuana industry look like in the coming years?
The legal marijuana industry is growing at a fast pace. It is predicted that the industry will grow by 30% annually because of its rapidly increasing popularity. Despite the growing support for legalization, though, marijuana remains illegal under federal law. This creates some significant issues for the cannabis industry, including a lack of access to banking services and tax credits. It’s holding back research and the development of new medical cannabis products and dispensaries.
The good news is that more states are moving to legalize adult-use marijuana, and more Americans are becoming open to the idea of ending prohibition. That means that the likelihood of eventual legalization by the federal government is growing. This will lead to an explosion of interest in the marijuana field, which means a lot of money is flowing into marijuana stocks at this point.
Legal marijuana use is not a new development in the United States. It’s been on sale in Colorado since 2014 and Washington since 2012, while Alaska and Oregon have also legalized recreational use, albeit on a much more limited basis. In total, that’s 18 states where recreational adult marijuana users can get high without worrying about being thrown in prison for the rest of their life. To make things even better, these new additions to the marijuana-friendly club have their marijuana laws.
Legalizing marijuana could have a positive impact on the U.S. economy, including boosting savings, investment, employment and raising tax revenue
The economic benefits of marijuana legalization are diverse and widespread. Here are some of the key economic benefits of legalizing marijuana:
Savings and investments: Savings and investments would increase as marijuana businesses, like any other business, could use banks for services such as taking deposits and making loans. This would help boost private savings because entrepreneurs would be able to expand their businesses by borrowing money.
Employment: Legalizing marijuana would create jobs in all areas of the industry, from agriculture to retail stores to shipping.
Tax revenues: Legalization would also help generate tax revenue for the government and reduce government expenditures on law enforcement and imprisonment. Legalizing marijuana could save consumers up to $3.6 billion per year on enforcement costs alone. Legal marijuana states have generated approximately $ 8 billion in tax revenue from marijuana sales since 2014. This extra money could help fund more pressing public needs like social services, infrastructure projects, or education initiatives.
The bottom line The bottom line is that legal cannabis would be a massive boon for the economy. This fact speaks for itself, and it isn’t a question. Whether you’re an avid cannabis user or want to see more money going around to boost the economy, decriminalization seems like a no-brainer. The government can tax it; states can use it to bolster their budgets, new businesses can sprout up to offer employment opportunities. The possibilities are endless!