In 2016 Californian voters ratified a state ballet in favor of the legalization of recreational marijuana, in a ballet known as proposition 64. The ballot passed 56% to 64%. By January 2018, Californian businesses will most likely have business licenses for the sale of recreational marijuana. What this means is that by this time local counties must have all the relevant procedures ready in order to comply with state and federal law in relation to the regulation of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana is going to be excellent for the growth of the economy and new industries are springing up all the time.
It is not known exactly how much money will be generated from the legal marijuana market, as it is too early to tell. All predictions at the present time are vague at best, as there is no historical data or trends to go on.
Marijuana to generate $5 Billion
Saying this, A study has found that in California, the legalization of weed could be worth upwards of $5 billion. The study was commissioned by the state federal agency. The study also indicated that legalization would increase the number of tourists coming to the State. This influx of tourists will be responsible for a large share of the income generated by marijuana legalization, at least while recreational marijuana remains illegal in the majority of other states.
Recreational marijuana is to command over 60% of the marijuana market of California. Recreational marijuana is currently legal in four states (Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska) and legalization has been approved in 3 others (Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts). In 29 states, recreational marijuana is illegal but medical marijuana is not.
The marijuana industry in California will be the largest in the nation. The first two states that legalized marijuana were Washington and Colorado, and each surpassed $1 billion in annual sales this year. Last year, medicinal marijuana generated almost $2 billion in California. Of the projected $5 billion, research suggests that between $700 million and $1 billion would end up in state accounts. When recreational marijuana becomes legal, it will face a 15% excise tax on top of the 8.8% sales tax.
It is currently estimated that over 75% of all marijuana sales are currently conducted illegally. This number is set to drop with the legalization of marijuana. The price will come down and revenue will go towards local businesses and State as well as Federal authorities. The estimated drop in the black market of marijuana sales is 50%, while it has also been projected that sales of medical marijuana in California will drop by up to 70%. Medical marijuana sales fell by 33% after approval for recreational marijuana was granted in Washington. When recreational marijuana is implemented, legal marijuana will make up around 10% of the total market, and almost a third of cannabis users are expected to continue obtaining marijuana through illegal means.
What this may indicate is that the majority of people actually do not need marijuana for medical purposes but just want to obtain it for recreational use. And it would appear that this is actually easy to do, as there are online services which provide medical cards for as little as $40. All you have to do is say you have certain symptoms and provide a State id or driving license. Also, the drop in black market sales would not be as noticeable in the first year. Medical marijuana is generally regarded as being of higher grade than that obtainable from retail outlets. And definitely of a better quality that the type of marijuana obtained from illegal vendors.
A Californian survey indicated that over 14% of Californian residents admitted to using cannabis within the last month, which is quite a large figure. People between the ages of 18 and 25 are the most likely to use marijuana recently. 33% of residents had tried marijuana in the last year. In Colorado, up to 10% of tourists visit purely because marijuana is legal there.
Legal Marijuana Benefits
The bureau of Marijuana control is the organization responsible for the distribution of recreational marijuana licenses to businesses. January 2018 is the latest date that businesses will have to wait before they can apply for recreational marijuana licenses. It is up to local communities to get the infrastructure and requirements in line with state law regarding marijuana requirements before this date. While many provinces in both Canada and the USA are struggling to meet marijuana deadlines it is best to have a hard date and make as much progress as possible. The legalization of marijuana in California is good for local industry, good for State and Federal finances and good for the wellbeing of ordinary citizens.