Washington and Colorado have become the first two states in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. There were many predictions about what would happen if pot was legalized, and some of those predictions included increases in crime and high school dropout rates. There were also predictions that the respective state governments would make a lot of money in tax revenue from the sale of legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.
As it turned out, we did not see a rise in crime or an increase in the number of kids dropping out of school. However, the predictions about all of the money that would be made from legalized recreational marijuana were all proven correct. According to a recent news article from the Orange County Register, Colorado raked in over $76 million in taxes in 2014, and, in 2015, that number increased almost a hundred percent with a revenue of more than $130 million. Washington state earned over $40 million in the first year and half, and is currently on a pace to reach over $60 million in the current fiscal year.
Oregon is the third state to legalize and regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, and the state is already seeing of $10 million in the state treasury from sales tax. In a much more populous state like California, where it is likely voters will have an opportunity to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes during the next election, will likely earn far more than Colorado in annual tax revenue from pot sales.
There have been a lot of predictions about how much the state of California could earn form legalized recreational marijuana, and numbers ranges from earnings in the low hundreds of millions to as high as a billion dollars or more per year in tax revenue. While the billion-dollar figure may seem like an unlikely number, it should be noted that in the other three states that already legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, the actual revenue numbers have far surpassed the estimated revenue predictions made prior to legalization going into effect.
In addition to the tax revenue which seems like it will be a substantial figure, the government also makes money by not having to prosecute defendants for illegally selling marijuana for recreational purposes. State budget figures show that this should result in a savings in the amount of $100 million on average, which is also a substantial about of money.
While the tax money will obviously benefit the government and the people of California, there will be even more money to made by those who are a part of the sale, distribution, and cultivation of marijuana. It should also be noted that many of these businesses would not have to physically handle any marijuana. For example, the tech firms in California are already busy at work on apps and other software that will aid in the sale and delivery process. However, there are lot of laws and regulations that must be followed, and you should speak with an experienced medical marijuana attorney before spending any significant amount of money on your new business venture to make sure you are on the right side of the law.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
More Blog Entries:
Report: Oregon Airport Allows Carry-On Cannabis, July 22, 2015, Los Angeles Marijuana Lawyer Blog