Where medical marijuana is legal, medical marijuana doctors can recommend medical marijuana to their patients suffering from pain, mood disorders and other qualified diseases. The legalization of medical marijuana, however, doesn’t just help patients recover from disease but also the economy. In the following, let’s talk about its economic benefits.
For one, the researchers at the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research found that legalized marijuana positively affected the Pueblo County, Colorado’s economy.
Based on the report, the regulated and taxed marijuana industry had contributed over $58 million to the county’s local economy. And a part of its positive impact, Pueblo also headlined all over when its local cannabis excise tax was used to grant scholarships for 210 students amounting to $420,000.
Recently, these scholarships were expected to triple after predictions that tax collections would reach $750,000.
The influence on tax revenue
No doubt, medical marijuana will increase tax revenue. Thanks to its legalization that more people will benefit from county and state projects, such as the education sector.
The $50B industry Cannabis regulation and taxation will transform the then black market billions of gangs and cartels into government taxable revenues. The income can boost state economy except raising main street taxes.
Huge marijuana sales resulted to buoyant tax revenues, especially in Washington and Colorado. For example, more than $135M in fees and taxes were collected by Colorado in the year 2015 alone, and this figure was from the combined recreational and medical marijuana sales that reached more than $996M.
In the case of California, which is much larger both in population and size than Colorado, could exceed $3 billion (tax revenue) and $15 billion (sales revenue) based on a study by the ICF International (April 2016).
On the other hand, a Massachusetts special Senate committee predicted tax revenues from cannabis sales would be between $50 and $60 million.
New job opportunities
The cannabis industry doesn’t just increase tax revenues and fees in states where it is legal but also improved the employment sector.
Recent regulations and legalization leads to job creations. For example, a regulated cannabis program can create new jobs for the tax-paying and hardworking people in California. From labs testing cannabis medicine safety to growers cultivating the plants and to employees at marijuana dispensaries, cannabis creates thousands of high-paying jobs.
Based on a New Frontier report, nationwide cannabis legalization could create 1.1 million jobs that would come quickly due to the equally fast-growing marijuana industry by 2025, springing up across the entire United States.
For example, a study by the RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group revealed that legalizing recreational marijuana in the State of Nevada could support more than 41,000 until 2024. Based on this figure, the same study also reported that these marijuana jobs could generate more $1.7 billion in terms of employment income.
In California, at least 81,000 jobs would be created as a result of the sales from legalized marijuana, according to an ICF study. The same also predicts an overall income increase by an average of $3.5 billion.
But aside from those main industries involved in the farming of marijuana, secondary industries not involved in the distribution and production, including financing services and construction companies, will also benefit from the boosted job creation in the industry.
On a local and national scale, the cannabis industry would benefit economies, helping secure more and more investment portfolios.
However, as marijuana is still federally illegal, many investors cannot capitalize on the industry’s growth. Then, those trading on stock exchanges are still little in number, too.
And while many of them can work with over-the-counter exchanges, successful businesses that ventured in the earlier legal cannabis space have been based in other countries, such as Canada.
But if medical marijuana would be legalized in all states, many investors and cannabis companies would have the opportunity of listing their stocks on exchanges, paving the way for more cannabis investors who are interested in the industry.
Legalizing marijuana on a national level will generate more jobs, open more investment opportunities and increase tax revenues. And if cannabis would be regulated and legalized across the nation, more benefits will be on the way for the economy, not only for patients getting recommendations from their medical marijuana doctors to treat their disease.