Nevada is new to the marijuana industry yet it has already buegun to revel in economic rewards. The marijuana industry has already contributed at least $30 million to the states’s tax revenue and the numbers just keep on rolling in.
Marijuana businesses and those involved in the cannabis market have made almost $200 million from marijuana sales just 6 months into the legalisation of recreational marijuana.
Nevada was ahead of states like Massachusetts, Maine and California. The Silver State began its program six months before the dawn of 2018.
A hefty 15% tax is charged on the cannabis that is sold as wholesale and regular retail sales have a 10% tax ticket.
This tax brought in an amount that was just shy of $3.7 million for the month of July alone. July was the first month that cannabis was allowed to be sold in the Silver State. That figure climbed to $5.8 million by the tenth month of the year.
Nevada’s first month of recreational sales were much higher than that of Colarado’s sales during its first month of recreational cannabis sales. The analytics firm, New Frontier, has estimated that the state of Nevada will have a cannabis market that will be worth more than $620 million in less than two years. By the year 2020, New Frontier has foreseen that Nevada’s cannabis market will be worth $622 million.
But why Nevada? Many are suggesting that Las Vegas is to blame for the success of the state’s booming marijuana income. Las Vegas is a tourist hotspot and sees thousands of tourists flocking into the city on a weekly basis. Most tourists that go to Las Vegas arrive with a sense of excitement and freedom to do things they would not normally do in the safety of their own community. It would not be unreasonable to say that this means that these tourists are likely to indulge in some recreational marijuana.
McCarran International Airport has even put in place drop boxes for those tourists that are flying out of Nevada and perhaps into a state where marijuana is still prohibited. These drop boxes are called “amnesty boxes” and their purpose is to allow tourists travelling out of Nevada to dispose of their marijuana that they may still have with them. The laws of Nevada and the local municipality surrounding the airport state that passengers are prohibited to have cannabis on the property of the airport.
Politically speaking, there is a bit of tension as to how and where this dropped off cannabis gets given out however according to the state a large amount of the said dropped off cannabis is being donated towards researchers and the studies being performed on the herb.
In Colarado, incoming taxes that are generated from the wholesale of cannabis are being given to public schools. In addition, these taxes are also being used for various other things which improve the life of youth including youth drug prevention programs, treatment for addictions and also the pay for the policing of the new legalised recreational use of the plant.
Many states that are struggling under heavy economic pressure are beginning to reconsider their stance on marijuana. The income that is being generated from the adult use market is causing a few states to turn their heads. The tax revenue is just one benefit with regards to financial input. If laws and regulations allow, local farmers and agriculturalists can also begin to see and reap the benefits if they can legally become involved in the cannabis industry. This of course, needs to happen before big corporate companies take over and flood the market. Perhaps also if regulations are set in place that protect the small farmer and local, small business owner than a new economic and sustainable future could be on the cards for previously poor states.
Connecticut is one such state that has begun to review its strict policies on cannabis. The legalisation of cannabis in some states will spark debates and could take some time to see fruition. Colorado’s governor, Daniel Malloy, has been an outspoken opposer against marijuana. Malloy has resisted the legalisation of cannabis and in the past was set against the market opening up. However Malloy has recently openly admitted that the subject of legalising cannabis needs to be an option for debate and will come under due consideration.
These financial motives are not, however, the solution to all economic issues. Those who have solely financial motives for legalising should revisit these motivations. The debate on the legalisation of marijuana should be more about moral issues than just financial gains. If governments are only looking to legalise marijuana because they see the kind of money that can be milked out of the plant risk overlooking the potential risks involved as well. The plant also has intense potential for health and wellness, potential which has been commonly known for decades. However now that governments and politicians are privy to how cannabis can make them money, marijuana is suddenly not as demonised as it was before.
In order for marijuana be successfully implemented into societies then the debates and questions should be around public safety and the funds that are generated from the inevitable tax revenue should be funnelled into research programs dedicated to demystifying marijuana and finding out exactly how to use the plant as efficiently as possible to heal and help people in desperate need.