Marijuana has been quite the interesting market since recreational legislation has swept the nation over the course of the past several years. One of the biggest incentives for states to get into the marijuana industry is the tax revenue that they have the potential to pull in. This has been one of the largest driving factors in the industry thus far and continues to be one of the primary reasons that states have decided to put this type of regulation in place.
Nevada has been one of the big players in the marijuana game for quite some time, having legislation put in place during the earlier days of cannabis legalization. Retailers in the Nevada area have managed to sell as much as $195 million in cannabis during the first six months of the substance being legalized for recreational use. This amount has meant that the state has made as much as $30 million in tax revenue thus far. To have this much new cash coming into a state’s budget is something that is unparalleled by any other industry and continues to be one of the main reasons that states have decided to do such a thing.
Unlike other states that put in recreational marijuana legislation to go in to effect in the beginning of the 2018 year, Nevada decided to do so six months before that time putting them ahead of the game and leaving the state as an example for other states to do the same thing. The 15% tax on marijuana and 10% tax on retail sales of the plant has meant that they made as much as $4 million during July of 2017 in the first month of recreational legalization. Making this much in tax revenue in such a short period of time has led the state to be quite happy with their decision on cannabis. Tax revenue for the program hit a peak back in October of 2017, seeing almost $6 million in revenue.
During the latter six months of the program, cannabis is continuing to net higher and higher profits for taxes within the state. Some analysts have stated that Nevada could be in to have their market on cannabis be worth as much as $622 million by the end of 2020. This is a massive amount of influx of cash for a state, and the question continues to be what they will do with all this new money.
One of the more interesting facts about the states program is how they are dealing with the massive amount of tourism coming in just for cannabis. Nevada decided to place “amnesty boxes” within the international airport in Las Vegas so that individuals could surrender their cannabis before boarding a flight. This may seem like the opposite of what someone would want to do with marijuana but given that it is illegal to take it on a flight and across borders, it is more of a safety feature for legislation than anything else.
A large portion of the money is going towards several different economic areas such as education and drug prevention. These programs are the places the need the money most, and many individuals are happy to see the money going into programs to help better the state. Many states who have participated in the medical and recreational marijuana industry have put their funds toward education and preventative programs to ensure individuals don’t end up using other drugs and into the cyclical nature of drug addiction.
It is clear that the pros with recreational and medical marijuana have far outweighed the cons. Marijuana is something that still has a massive amount of research potential and an opportunity to help individuals across a variety of areas. The hopes are high that in the near future, more and more states and eventually the nation as a whole will begin to look into this massive potential.