The cannabis landscape in the United Sates has never been the same since the state of Colorado came up with a legal framework to regulate and tax cannabis. The state adopted the same model that is used to regulate alcohol and tobacco to explore the then dormant cannabis industry. Recreational use of cannabis was legalized for the first time in November 6, 2012 by Washington and Colorado.
The two states set the stage for increased campaigns for the legalization of recreational cannabis in other states. To be more specific, 4 other states have also legalized recreational cannabis. The four states include Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, and California. It is interesting know that adults aged 21 years and above can now legally enjoy their recreational cannabis in 6 states. Apart from recreational cannabis, medical marijuana has also been approved in 29 states across the country.
The Genesis of Rec Dispensaries
January, 1, 2014 will go down in history as the day when the first rec dispensary was opened in the United States. This happened two years after the production and distribution of recreational marijuana had been legalized in Colorado and Washington. Since then, there have been other rec dispensaries that have been opened in Colorado and the other five states where recreational cannabis is legal.
Economic Impacts of Legalizing Recreational Cannabis in Colorado
The fact that recreational marijuana has become a major tax revenue machine for Colorado is a complete surprise for most financial forecasters. Within a short period of time, Amendment 64 has changed Colorado’s economy in a great way. By July last year, Colorado had broken the $500 million mark when it comes to tax revenue generated from recreational cannabis.
Close to five years ago, no one would have imagined that revenue from recreation cannabis would be a major source of funding for Colorado’s stage programs and education system! In fact, the education system in Colorado receives up to 51% of the tax revenue generated from recreational marijuana. Also, legalization of recreational cannabis in Colorado has had a positive impact on other industries in Colorado such as the real estate and tourism industries. The booming cannabis industry has created many jobs in the state as a result of its ripple effect on other industries. In general, it is expected that the legislation added more than $2.4 billion to Colorado’s economy.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that the rest of the country has also been inspired by Colorado’s success. It is now clear to the rest of the nation that banning marijuana does not have any moral or fiscal benefits. Apart from helping Colorado grow economically, legalization of cannabis has also inspired creativity and innovation. In this case, a new generation of entrepreneurs has emerged to take advantage of the booming cannabis industry. In addition, most of the on-going industry problems have been addressed by the latest advancements in cannabis technology. Marijuana money is now accepted by financial institutions making cannabis a critical economic driver.