With the legalization of medical marijuana in 28 states and thus far, 4 states have decriminalized weed for recreational purposes, we must take a look at the economic impact created by these changes. The most obvious advantage is this means more jobs. Colorado reported the cannabis industry was solely responsible for the reduction in unemployment due to the addition of more than 18,000 new full time jobs. However, that fact does not even scratch the surface of the list of economic advantages tied to the legalization of marijuana. There are marijuana events specifically aimed to gather business owners for several days of education and networking to strengthen the growth of this industry. Not unlike summits held for leaders of clean energy commerce or a national dental convention, this business aims at professionalism and financial growth.
The Rise of New Industries
Along with new jobs, the legalization of marijuana gives birth to a new innovative industry. There is an entire medical community dedicated to researching additional benefits of cannabis. Scientists are hard at work extracting the chemical compounds and studying their various effects on the human body. Cultivators are needed to grow the marijuana employing people for data entry, security, as well as safety and regulatory overseers. The manufacturers are the production end of the industry with their machine operators, food processors for the edible version of cannabis, chemical testing (for pesticides and detrimental residues), packaging, and so much more. Finally, there is an opportunity for new retailers. Many marijuana events host career fairs in an effort to educate and offer the public new employment opportunities.
State Taxes for More than Profit
As expected, there are county and state taxes imposed upon the manufacturers, cultivators, and retailers. There are application and licensing fees, retail sales tax, and excise taxes to name a few. California estimates tax revenue about $50 million while in just the first few months after legalization, Oregon reported approximately $3.5 million. In case one wondered how the taxation aids in local economy, much of the proceeds are channeled back into local communities by funding school and public health related programs.
Savings for Federal and State Drug Enforcement Programs
Currently, federal drug enforcement costs are in the billions annually and millions at the state level. Much of the money is spent of investigating marijuana growers, dealers, and traffickers. Law enforcement agencies could free up resources to focus on methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin traffickers. Decriminalizing marijuana would also unburden our legal and prison systems. It costs over $100 per day to incarcerate non-violent drug offenders, many of which are guilty of marijuana related “crimes.”
Clearly, local, state, and federal economies stand to prosper from lifting the marijuana prohibition that many states continue to enforce. Many marijuana events aim to increase public awareness to the health benefits of cannabis as well as the economic gains that are generated by the marijuana industry.
Keyword: marijuana events