It started last fall, with the announcement by federal authorities that they intended to crack down on pot shops that were supplying large amounts of pot and those specifically located near parks, playgrounds and schools.
Of course, as we know, the scope of those aggressive prosecution tactics has gone far beyond what was vowed, even at the time, which ran contrary to the promises made by then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.
However, what a lot of these agencies are missing is an emerald opportunity: Making money. We’ve touched on this issue in previous entries on the Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog.
We’ve looked at how some cities in California, such as San Jose, have even gotten it right by enforcing a 7 percent sales tax, which is expected to generate some $3.5 million annually.
What we haven’t explored is how other countries are using marijuana cultivation to help pull them from the depths of this recession.
Take, for example, a little town called Rasquera, which is in Spain. There are about 1,000 residents, who last month voted to help free themselves from crushing debt by sanctioning the government-growth of marijuana.
While some in the Spanish government have said that this move is illegal, the idea for the residents is to rent about 17 acres of land to grow marijuana for purposes of both therapeutic and recreational use. This will in turn be sold to the Barcelona Private Cannabis Association.
Not only will this venture create some 40 new jobs, it’s expected to generate an estimated $1.3 million over the next two years, which will be enough to pay off the town’s entire debt.
In Spain, as in California, residents are suffering from high unemployment stemming from a deep recession. Such a move makes perfect sense.
And it makes sense here too.
Of course, there are some who argue that taxing the sale of medical marijuana is akin to sanctioning it, which they don’t want to do. Their take is that marijuana is a gateway drug, and taxing it would mean just the first step in the of statewide approval of stronger drugs like cocaine and heroin.
But the truth is, marijuana is believed to be the second-most profitable cash crop in the country – just behind corn.
Legalizing it by imposing a tax in turn reduces the risks that street sales impose. Not only does that improve the quality of life by reducing crime, it keeps our prison populations in check – which also saves us a bundle.
Municipalities that have learned how to work – rather than against – their local marijuana dispensaries will find themselves expending less wasted time and energy on useless policies that are bound to fail anyway – and more time stacking up the green.
The CANNABIS LAW GROUP offers experienced and aggressive representation to the medical marijuana industry in Southern California– including growers, dispensaries and collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call 714-937-2050 for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.