The legalization of marijuana is a hotly debated topic that has recently gotten more attention as the industry grows. There are currently 11 states and Washington D.C. where marijuana is legal for recreational use, along with 38 states where it’s legal for medical use (potential conditions include cancer, glaucoma, PTSD, and more). Some people feel marijuana should be legalized because the drug can help with chronic pain management and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Others think that it should be legalized because it isn’t nearly as harmful as alcohol, while others want it legalized for the economic benefits it provides. If you’re going to learn about more of these benefits, here are a few.
Benefits For Investors
The marijuana industry is quickly becoming one of the most profitable industries globally and has already grown quite a bit in a relatively short period. The figures vary quite a bit; however, the marijuana industry is said to be worth around $61 billion and is estimated to grow to $100 billion by 2030.
This means that there is much opportunity for investors, and once legalized, the various companies in the industry will benefit too. The more states legalize, the more online sites like Smoke Cartel will launch, which means more consumption methods for consumers like dab rigs or bubblers, which means more money to be made all around. However, the biggest problem is that marijuana is still considered to be a controlled substance under federal law. As a result, there are only a few cannabis companies on the stock market. This essentially means that investors can’t capitalize on the growth of the market just yet.
More State Revenue
Of all the economic benefits legalizing cannabis might provide, an increase in state revenue is probably the largest. One negative of not legalizing cannabis is that it keeps money within the marijuana black market, which was recently estimated to be worth around $40 billion. This is money that isn’t being taxed, and as a result, the state loses out.
In states where marijuana is legalized, tax revenue received from sales was high; for example, Colorado collected around $302 million in taxes and fees. Based on current figures, research shows that tax revenue across all states that have legalized so far would be about $105.6 billion by 2025.
When any kind of industry is started, there is a boom in creating jobs, and the marijuana industry is no exception to that. For the growth of any country, the one thing that is needed is a majority of middle-class workers, and for that to happen, there need to be employment possibilities. The marijuana industry has created around 250,000 jobs, which might not sound like a large number until you realize that these are just the jobs directly related to handling the marijuana itself.
It has been tough to put a number to the total number of jobs created by the industry since there’s no easy way to track this. However, a few jobs in the sector could be the salespeople in head shops and dispensaries, the people that create the marijuana consumption methods, HR for each of those companies, accountants for the companies, people that make marijuana-related accessories, delivery jobs for stores that deliver the products, those that create the applications for smartphone apps for online purchase, and more.
Money Saved for Consumers and State
At the moment, in states where marijuana isn’t readily available, the product can be pretty expensive, which makes sense; high demand vs low availability means an increase in prices. If marijuana were legalized in more states, this would mean a decrease in prices over the long run, which would mean that consumers would save money. Of course, this might lead to the state losing some money, potentially, because tax revenue is based on total sales, and it might also lead to increased purchase of products since it would be cheaper.
In addition to this, the state would save money too. In 2019, law enforcement made around 545,602 arrests for marijuana-related offenses, which is lower than in 2012 at 749,825. Every year this costs the state around $3.6 billion, which would be avoided if legalized. This also means that the money lost from tax revenue from lowered prices could be made up for.