Marijuana’s $2.4 Billion Impact In Colorado Is A Lesson For 5 States Considering Legalization

from ThinkProgress

It turns out pot is a stronger economic driver than 90 percent of the industries active in Colorado.

Legal weed created 18,005 full-time jobs and added about $2.4 billion to the state’s economy last year, an analysis from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG) shows.

Between the dollars that customers spend and the money businesspeople invest in their crops and shops, pot is generating more wealth and activity than almost anything else on a pound-for-pound basis. Every dollar spent in the industry generates between $2.13 and $2.40 in economic activity. Only federal government spending has a higher multiplier.

The numbers land just weeks before voters in five other states must decide whether or not to follow Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska into the legal, recreational marijuana future. Three further states are weighing new medical marijuana systems, and Montana voters face a referendum on changes to a dozen-year-old medicinal cannabis program there that’s all but locked up thanks to years of legislative sabotage in Bismarck.

Medical systems in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota would bring their own economic dividends. But tax-and-regulate legalization for adult recreational use is where the real money is.

The Colorado economics modeling can’t give precise, reliable projections for how adult-use pot legalization would play out in California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and Arizona. Sales volumes are particularly volatile to project as the green frontier opens wider, potentially redistributing pot tourism spending between states.

More here.

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One Comment

  1. During the time period when this article was posted, Colorado set such high standards for following states to follow in terms of their revenue. 2.4 billion dollars is nothing to overlook, along with the fact that over 18,000 jobs were created. I believe that every state should begin to take Colorado’s example for how much they have accomplished with their marijuana revenues and apply similar laws in their states.
    Governor Murphy who was elected in New Jersey this past year had promised during his election that he would vote for the legal sale of recreational marijuana, and he has been fighting against a lot of opposition who don’t see the tremendous value for their economy. As stated in the article above, marijuana has generated more wealth and activity than almost anything else on a pound-for-pound basis. If this doesn’t show how much money New Jersey could generate and put towards infrastructure and education, i don’t know what does.
    New Jersey desperately needs more funding for our education systems from K-12. Taking Colorado as an example, they now have one of the best education systems in our country because of the tax income from the sales of marijuana and their roads have gone through major adjustments for the better. New Jersey is desperate for an increase in their school systems as we have far too many counties that can not afford for a high end education. Passing this law would allow for more children in poverty areas to possibly pursue college as an option for their career. New Jersey’s road infastcure needs to be revamped quickly with far too many highways and major roads becoming almost dangerous to drive on.
    Even after looking at the 5 major states that have legalized marijuana and applying the lowest revenue generated, it would still be an astonishing boost to New Jersey’s economy. Governor Murphy can see how much of an impact legalizing marijuana can do for his beloved state, and hopefully others will realize sooner rather than later.

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