States who are tax-revenue poor may want to look hard at Colorado’s latest windfall. The sale of legalized marijuana is helping the state rake in some serious profits, and other states are looking to this model for their own generation of funds.
Tax revenue from the sale of legal recreational and medical marijuana in Colorado is projected to reach $134 million for this coming year, and this is an estimate far outperforming original measures. Smart regulators of Cannabis know that this is a billion dollar industry. Considering recreational sales only began on January 1st of this year, this is a market with unheard of potential.
“It’s well on its way to being a billion-dollar industry,” Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, told The New York Times. “We went from 110,000 medical marijuana patients to four billion people in the world who are 21 and up.”
Washington is looking at similar numbers. Retail sales of marijuana are expected to begin in June, and budget forecasters estimated recently that marijuana could bring the state nearly $190 million in taxes for the four years beginning in the middle of 2015.
That’s a lot of tax money to improve infrastructure, build libraries, schools, and create community green spaces. It is a way to help make bankrupted states solvent. There are currently 13 more state looking to legalize and get on the gravy train.
And with with the U.S. Treasury issuing guidelines to banks making it legal for them to provide services to marijuana-related businesses, some of the biggest hurdles are cleared out to those who might want to operate a legal hemp or medical marijuana business. This move by the feds only increases the chances for states to take advantage of the potential tax revenue marijuana legalization has to offer – undoubtedly speeding up the overall legalization process nationwide.
Medical marijuana just might help turn our country around. It’s about time.