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Marijuana Legalization’s Effect of the Economy

Increasingly, states are recognizing the benefit of marijuana legalization on the economy. While some are still skeptics wondering if there is a positive from it, the states who’ve already legalized it are seeing a profit. Despite the controversy, legalizing the herb for more than just medicinal use is proving to have an impact.

Less Marijuana-Related Convictions

Some of the individuals in prison — some serving long-term sentences — are in there as a result of a cannabis-related crime. Tax money goes to keep these individuals there, despite their crime not being as serious as many of the other offenders behind bars. When legalization occurs in a state, it reduces the number of people who are imprisoned. In return, there is less government-funding keeping individuals behind bars.

New Jobs

New jobs are arising as a result of marijuana legalization. People are needed to grow the crops in controlled settings. Companies need employees to sell the product. This isn’t counting the number of people who are finding employment in the creative and business ends of the industry. One company, Hikurangi Cannabis, plans on creating 100 positions in their town over the course of the next two years. Additionally, the country is seeing more people entering into the industry and becoming self-employed.

Development of New Industries

Since the change in legislation, more companies are arising with revolutionary products. People are creating marijuana-based products ranging from cbd oil to cannabis products for pets.

Profit from Marijuana

In 2017, the marijuana industry brought in over $8 billion in sales. “The National Cannabis Economy” estimates sales will reach $11 billion over the course of the next year. By the year 2022, the industry’s profit is expected to reach $23 billion.

In Alaska alone, there are 205 licensed businesses in the marijuana industry. As of December 2019, these businesses generated $11 million. California has even more licensed businesses. In fact, they have 358 licensed retail stores, and marijuana-related companies earn $234.2 million in a year. Total, Colorado has 549 dispensaries. Throughout the states, the marijuana industry is bringing in $247 million annually. Nevada may only have 63 retail dispensaries, but the places that sell marijuana in the state earn $69 million from their cannabis. In the state of Oregon, there are over 1,800 licensed dispensaries, and the industry is making $82 million. Washington currently has nearly 2,000 licensed businesses, 1,947 to be exact. The marijuana industry is earning $315 million in this state.