Monday, April 22, 2024

Legal Weed States Reap Benefits

In every state except Maine, a majority of respondents characterized legalization as a success.

Sometimes you buy an expensive pair of shoes and within hours you wish you hadn’t. Buyer’s remorse is the sense of regret after having made a purchase. It is frequently associated with the purchase of an expensive item such as a vehicle or real estate.  Looking back at 2023, it seems legal weed sates reap benefits and have no buyer’s remorse for legalizing marijuana.  BDSA, a leading analytical firm which covers cannabis, released the 2023 numbers and the legal industry has grown to $29.5+ billion.  It would have been better had it not be for the New York City.   And the tax revenue has been very helpful for the 24 legal states.

Related: Unlicensed Shops in NYC Are Doing Better Than The Naked Cowboy

Colorado and Washington approved adult-use recreational marijuana measures in 2012. Alaska, Oregon and District of Columbia followed 2014. Since then, states have weighed the benefits versus dangers of recreational weed.  And the federal government has been watching.

Photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images

Early on there was a YouGov poll respondents could choose between five different answers: “Success only,” “more of a success than a failure,” “more of a failure than a success,” “failure only” or “don’t know.” Approximately one-fourth of residents in Colorado, where voters approved recreational marijuana in 2012, called adult-use marijuana laws a “success only” while 45% of them labeled the laws “more of a success than a failure.” A little less than one in five Colorado residents (17%) said recreational marijuana laws were a “failure only.”

But there are very practical reasons for states to be pleased. It is estimated  the illicit marijuana economy is worth around $30-$40 billion dollars. Recent research has shown that legalizing marijuana reduces violence and trafficking associated with the illegal drug trade thereby reducing the power and wealth of cartels and drug gangs.  This is a boom for law enforcement in states as they can focus on other crimes.

Prison costs have also decreased.  Private prisons are being phased out as there are fewer marijuana possession inmates to hold. This is another benefit for states budgets.

RELATED: The Most Popular Marijuana Flavors

And huge benefits is tax revenue. Missouri broke $1 billion in legal revenue and it was a pleasant surprise to state coffers. States with legal weed make more on cannabis revenue than on alcohol.  This, despite alcohol having more sales.  California is the only state which seems to have an issue with taxing…but states like Maine and Colorado are leading examples of good governance.

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