Tax revenue, job creation, tourism, and a decrease in crime rates – these are just some of the motivating factors now being considered in the long-stalled move toward legalizing cannabis.
More countries around the world are debating the benefits that would follow the legalization of cannabis than ever, and this has led to some remarkable findings. Beyond the socio-psychological potential this could hold for society, there are many ways in which it would be an economically viable decision too.
We’ll be delving into the economic advantages of making cannabis legal in this article, describing the potential it holds in generating substantial revenue, creating jobs, bolstering tourism, and possibly even lowering crime rates. Through breaking down real-world examples and the findings of in-depth research, we can become more informed about the tremendous potential benefits that we could all enjoy through supporting the cannabis industry.
I. How Cannabis Legalization Could Help the Taxman
Take Colorado as a shining example of this: having made cannabis legal in 2014, the state has since collected over $2 billion in tax revenue from retailers of cannabis products. This revenue has, in turn, been dispersed between various public initiatives, such as healthcare, education, and infrastructure development.
This is one of the key economic benefits that make legalizing this plant so favorable; it can be a major source of tax revenue for governments. Like a gift that keeps on giving, as more countries and states opt to implement cannabis taxation, total tax revenue from the cannabis industry will see more substantial growth.
II. Cannabis Jobs Can Address Unemployment
For the second time, Colorado springs to the forefront as the example state, with the cannabis industry there already employing over 30,000 people, from agricultural workers to budtenders, researchers, and marketing professionals.
Our next solid case for cannabis legalization lies in the numerous job opportunities that can potentially be created through passing the act. As the cannabis industry breaks free from stigma and mistrust that have swirled around it like stale smoke for too long, businesses abound as more canna-preneurs try and sate the appetite for cannabis products so prevalent in the masses. Much like the plants themselves, the growth potential for cannabis jobs is massive, giving both skilled and unskilled workers abundant opportunities.
III. Cannabis Tourism Offers Travellers High Hopes
Acting as a great, green catalyst for tourism, countries that have gone ahead with cannabis legalization have proven the allure that this holds for tourists, both locals and those from abroad. Cannabis tourism is particularly attractive for tourists who hail from countries where cannabis is still criminalized; experiencing the freedom of legally purchasing cannabis products is the big prize.
Colorado once again cracks a mention as a prime example of this phenomenon where legalizing cannabis directly resulted in a marked increase of 10% in local tourism. These higher numbers of tourists offer significant benefits to local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and cannabis dispensaries.
IV. Implementing Legalizing Cannabis for Crime Reduction
Those opposed to cannabis legalization have regularly expressed fears surrounding crime rates as the source of their resistance. There are some studies, however, that suggest the exact opposite may be the case. Cannabis research conducted by the Cato Institute has shown that marijuana legalization could correlate to a 10% decrease in violent crimes.
The theory has its foundation set in the idea that when cannabis is made legally available, black-market activity, which is a breeding ground for cannabis crime among other, more nefarious acts, is reduced. By making cannabis crime a non-entity, it’s possible to change the general mindset towards it too. This also aids law enforcement as they can then focus on crimes of a more serious nature without resources being diverted to marijuana-related misdemeanors.
V. Crafting Cannabis Public Health Policies
As the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis are further explored, it becomes increasingly important to forge a balance with public health matters. The onus is on policymakers to take the potential impact of public health into account; both the positive and negative must be considered for a sound cannabis policy. A responsible and well-maintained cannabis policy can curb potential risks while leveraging the economic benefits that can occur through legalization.
VI. Cannabis Research Must Be Continued
To understand the economic potential and impact cannabis can have, ongoing research is essential. This will assist governments in making educated decisions on regulations, taxation, and industry expansion through research. With the allowance of in-depth research, space will be made for the innovation of new applications for cannabis-based products. This could create exciting new avenues of economic opportunity in medicine and industry.
Where cannabis legalization takes place, numerous economic benefits can be expected, such as increased tax revenue, job creation, and an influx of tourists. In direct opposition to concerns, cannabis research indicates that violent crime rates could even be diminished by detracting from the need for illegal markets.
Those in charge of the cannabis policy must prioritize public health concerns while ensuring adherence to appropriate regulations.
Ready to Enjoy the Cannabis Economy?
With the rapid growth that the cannabis industry is experiencing, it is crucial for governments to place ongoing research on a pedestal. This will help them, and their citizens fully understand the myriad economic possibilities and impacts, helping them make informed decisions.
With a thorough, thoughtful approach, legalizing cannabis can be the beginning of a bright future filled with prosperity for many countries’ economies. If you’re interested in staying up to date with all the latest in cannabis developments, sign up for our newsletter today!
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