Love it or hate it, the marijuana industry is exploding, and states where it has been legalized are reaping the financial rewards. If California residents vote to legalize pot in November, it could usher in a new Gold Rush.
No state is a better example of this than Colorado. In January 2014 alone, marijuana earned the state $3.5 million in tax revenue. From January through May of that year, marijuana created 10,000 new jobs.
In 2015, marijuana earned Colorado nearly $70 million in taxes, which allowed Pueblo County – where nearly 15% of the population lived below poverty level in 2007 – to set up scholarships for high school seniors looking to go to college.
Pot money has even been credited with saving the Colorado town of Trinidad from financial ruin.
Marijuana in California
Medical marijuana was legalized in California 20 years ago, and the state has the largest medical marijuana market in the United States. It is estimated that if recreational pot is legalized there, it would generate $1 billion in additional taxes per year.
If voters approve a measure that qualified on June 28 to legalize and tax marijuana, California would become the 5th state – not to mention the largest – to permit marijuana for recreational use. In addition to Colorado, recreational pot is legal in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, as well as in the District of Columbia.
In 2010, a similar ballot initiative failed, but recent polls show the current initiative has a great deal of support.
If recreational marijuana is legalized in California, adults aged 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to 6 plants. The initiative would also set rules for commercial cultivation, manufacture, tracking, and licensed sales. Additionally, it would create regulations to keep marijuana out of the hands of children, as well as penalties for impaired driving. 
Residents in Nevada, Maine, and 6 other states will also vote on recreational or medical marijuana ballot initiatives in 2016. But California – which has a population of 40 million – is the world’s 6th largest economy. That means that if marijuana is legalized there, it could propel the trend elsewhere.
Leslie Bocskor, of the Nevada-based private equity firm Electrum Partners, told Reuters:
“I don’t believe there will be any precedent in the United States that can compare to it except for maybe the Gold Rush.”
The Golden State could use a Gold Rush.
California’s medical marijuana sales were forecast to be flat in 2016, and to trend down over the next 5 years, due to stiffening oversight and more stringent regulations of the industry. Tax revenue to the state from medical marijuana was also expected to slump, from $109 million in 2015 to about $59 million by 2020.
8 thoughts on “California Will Likely Strike it Rich if Marijuana is Legalized”
Do not count out big *Pharma* just yet as they will continue to battle until the bitter end!
August 18, 2015 Why Big Pharma hates legalized marijuana; painkillers, chemotherapy and psych drugs could be made obsolete
When certain politicians and so-called health experts bellyache over the legalization of cannabis, it’s not because they’re worried about the children. It’s because cannabis is arguably the safest and most widely effective natural medicinal herb in existence, and its widespread acceptance would immediately render obsolete the gamut of pharmaceuticals that make the establishment drug barons (and their bought-and-paid-for lackeys in Congress) filthy rich.
Yep your right. I live here Obama did everything to shut it down here. He promised he would not. Most dispenseries went bye bye. Of course big money funding his campaigns. They radied them all the time people gave up. Threatned the owners of the building they were going to seize the building if they did not get rid of the business. Good ole lying obama.
What you are saying is that the government will have found new sources of “revenue” via taxes and a whole new expansion of the bureaucracy via regulation. Do you ever hear them talking about that money applied to lowering our taxes? Heck no. It enriches and empowers Sacramento. That’s all. And meanwhile there will even be more doped and easily manipulated citizens.
This will go the way of the LOTTO…that was to help the schools…Yet, schools don’t have any money, since they only receive ~3%…..the rest goes to the bureaucracy. Did you know that most teachers have to buy their own supplies, as there is no money for that in the school budgets? And have you noticed exactly Who Buys The Tickets???…Not necessarily the “well heeled”, they know it is a scam. Just one more hidden tax.
I agree with you about the money going to the government. Where we part ways is the assertion that schools “have no money.” They have plenty but just waste it and their administration is a bloated bureaucracy. Teachers are well-paid. In my town they earn an average of $80,000 and top off at $100,000+. They have collective bargaining AND tenure AND work 181 days (average full time worker puts in 280 days per year). No, I don’t feel sorry for them. Teachers in general get degrees in education, not rigorous academic degrees. If they want to be professionals they should get rid of their unions and become free agents. They would save on union fees plus they would be able to negotiate their salaries based on a school’s needs and schools would be able to offer salaries perhaps higher than currently paying for certain specialties. I mean a qualified physicist with a few years working in the economy, for example, is forced to start at the same salary as a kindergarten teacher. How stupid is that?
They might make more but the unemployment will sore ,all the crackheads will work.
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