There is a growing trend in the United States toward the legalizing of marijuana. A total of 11 States have now legalized the consumption of marijuana – and if the pundits are right the 2020 U.S. election could be the tipping point for others to follow. The trend seems to be set to continue. Given the fact that around one-third of Americans now live in regions where all adults have access to marijuana (according to the Politico website research), it is difficult to see how the landslide toward nationwide legalization can be halted.
In fact, legalization is a trend that is increasingly international, for example, Canada went all-in during 2018 when it legalized marijuana throughout the country.
However, what is causing this sea change in opinion about the benefits of marijuana, either for recreational use or (as is the case in some States) for medicinal use?
Firstly, in the U.S. it may just be a case of ‘enlightened self-interest by the States. They stand to bolster their coffers significantly through the regulated commercial availability of marijuana. There is first the impact as far as increased tax revenue is concerned. Take, for example, Colorado. In 2019 the State collected more than $302 million in taxes and fees from companies involved in the medical and recreational marijuana business. That’s on Statewide sales of $1.7 billion. That’s chump change when (according to Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics) the market forecast is for sales of $31.1 billion by the end of 2024.
But it’s not only tax revenue that makes the legalization of marijuana so attractive to States. Jobs are created and the State economy gets a shot in the arm. Using California as an example provides some insight into just how beneficial the legalization of marijuana can be. Studies indicate that legalization in that State alone will create an additional 81,000 job opportunities. Studies show that over 1 million jobs could be created in the United States if the federal government supported widespread legalization.
So what does this mean for those who are considering hitching their fortunes to the rising star of legalized marijuana as either a grower or a distributor?
Pundits are confident that other States will join those that have already legalized marijuana. States most likely to do so in 2021 include Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia. The opportunities in the industry will continue to grow as more and more States join the growing number of those that have legalized marijuana. In a nutshell, this means ever greater opportunities for those interested in the industry.