The Top 5 Benefits of Legal Cannabis in Colorado
In 2012, Colorado made a big decision and fully legalized both medical and recreational marijuana for monitored sale and distribution. In 2014, dispensaries began to open. Despite the naysayers, it’s been years and this controversial change has done good for Colorado. From taxes to tourism, here’s the top 5 benefits that legal cannabis brought to the Centennial State.
5. Tons of Jobs
Anyone who hasn’t visited the hotspots may not realize just how many growing, processing and dispensary jobs were really generated by the economic explosion of legalized cannabis. In the year of 2015 alone, the growing marijuana industry “created 18,005 new full time… positions” according to a flagship report done by the MJ Policy Group.
4. Lowered Crime Rate
Since legalization in Colorado, annual marijuana-related charges have dropped to under a fifth of pre-legalization charges. While the rise and fall of other crime rates can’t all be attributed to a single influence, based on reports from Rogers and Moss Colorado has seen an overall drop in property crimes and homicides. Denver specifically has also seen a widespread if not profound drop in most violent crimes.
3. Tax Revenue Twice that of Alcohol
This is the benefit we all expected, but it’s still a significant amount of money. Tax revenue was a big selling point during the campaign for legalization and according to Time Magazine, “Colorado collected almost $70 million in marijuana taxes during that time, nearly double the $42 million collected from alcohol taxes”. There was even a celebratory tax holiday thrown for all marijuana sales.
2. Economy Growth
Alright, so the government got their cut, but what about the economy of every day Colorado? For those nearby, you have probably seen some of the business boom caused by the growing recreational cannabis industry. The MJ Policy Group found that “Colorado’s economy grew at 3.5 percent in 2014—twice the national average—marijuana sales grew by 42.4 percent – making this industry a clear growth leader in the state”.
1. Cannabis Tourism
Finally, what’s the best thing marijuana has done for the economy and growth of Colorado: Cannabis Tourism. Valid Driver’s Licenses and International Passports are both accepted, so anyone over 21 with their papers in order can visit Colorado and take a completely legal canna-vacation. Because you can’t leave the state with your cannabis, Colorado gets the rare opportunity to retain all these tourists who might otherwise road trip in and out of the state at will. Colorado hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and camping spots fill up and business overflows as people from all over the country and the world flock to the amazing legal novelty of legal recreational cannabis.
Now that Nevada has legalized marijuana for legal use, we expect to see similar results.
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