No matter how you feel about the legalization of recreational or medical marijuana, there’s no denying its impact on local and state economies.
A recent report from the publication Leafly and the consulting services firm Whitney Economics offers an in-depth look at the positive economic effects that the legal marijuana industry has had on the states in which the drug has been legalized.
The report focuses on job creation, noting that the U.S. of Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count marijuana industry job gains. The report also looks at tax revenue on legal marijuana sales, which it says hit $10.8 billion in 2018.
Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized adult recreational use of marijuana. Seven of those states impose taxes on revenue-producing marijuana stores — typically, at rates that are 10% to 37% higher than the local sales tax.
The seven states — and the amount of marijuana tax revenue they brought in last year — are:
Washington state — $319 million
California — $300 million
Colorado — $266 million
Oregon — $94.4 million
Nevada — $69.8 million
Alaska — $11 million
Massachusetts — $5.2 million
Note: The figure for Massachusetts only reflects the estimated marijuana tax revenue that the state brought in since its adult-marijuana-use retail market opened in November.
In the other four places where adult recreational use of marijuana is legal, there are no marijuana stores open, according to the report. Those places are:
So, where is all of that marijuana tax revenue going exactly? According to the report, the taxes often go to support jobs in school construction, drug abuse prevention programs, medical research and other areas. These aren’t the type of jobs that are the focus of the report, however.
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A ‘job-creation machine’
The report analyzes past and potential job growth in legal marijuana sales, one of America’s fastest-growing industries. There are now more than 211,000 such full-time jobs in the United States. More than 64,000 of those jobs were created in 2018 alone.
“These are high-quality positions with openings at all levels of experience … Many offer benefits and quick advancement,” the report states.
Leafly expects the number of full-time jobs in the legal marijuana industry to grow by at least 20% more this year.
For more on the intersection of money and marijuana, check out “Ask Stacy: Should I Invest in Marijuana Companies?”
What’s your take on marijuana tax revenue or legal marijuana industry job growth? Share your thoughts by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.