Medical Marijuana And Its Impact To The Economy

By Zack M

Twenty five states have legalized marijuana for medical use so far, and it’s already clear that there are many economical advantages to be gained from this as well as the various medical marijuana benefits to be enjoyed by patients.  Because the marijuana systems in place in these states are being well regulated and taxed, money is coming in steadily from the cannabis industry.  These are just some of the ways that cannabis legalization can assist weakening economies.

Medical Marijuana Eliminates The Need For Tax Hikes

With some estimates putting illicit cannabis sales at around $50 billion in revenue a year, it doesn’t make any sense to allow that money to go to gangs and criminals.  Prohibition states are missing out on large incomes by choosing not to regulate and tax the industry.  New tax income from the legal sales of marijuana reinvigorate the economy of the state, and decrease the need for additional taxes on other products income.

Marijuana Regulation Creates Jobs

Whenever people earn money via legal and regulated means, they pay taxes and put money back into the state economy.  Legal cannabis states have seen real job creation.  Instead of allowing those jobs to be held by non-taxpaying criminals, marijuana further benefits the state.  Many marijuana industry jobs are highly skilled and pay excellent wages. Demand is expected to remain strong for trained horticulturists, laboratory testers, dispensary workers and team managers.

According to AlterNet, the top cannabis industry jobs are:

  • Budtenders – assist dispensary customers with purchasing marijuana
  • Sales Reps – sell products (vapes, technology, edibles, etc.) to dispensaries
  • Extraction Technicians – make marijuana concentrates
  • Edibles Makers – make marijuana-infused foods and drinks
  • Dispensary Security – patrol dispensaries for illegal activity
  • Marijuana Growers – cultivate marijuana for dispensaries
  • Trimmers – trim and package marijuana flowers for dispensaries
  • Dispensary Managers – manage all or various aspects of dispensaries

Legalization Lowers Government Spending 

Prohibition is expensive and wasteful.  Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron estimates the government War on Marijuana costs Americans more than $20 billion annually.  The costs include law enforcement, the strain on the courts and justice system, and the enormous cost of housing and feeding low-level drug offenders.

Monies that could be used to address pressing social needs — education, infrastructure, crime — are wasted on a failed public policy.  By all accounts the War on Drugs has been a dismal failure.