Legal cannabis has helped the states where it has been legalized in a number of ways.Tax revenue from cannabis sales is being put back into the community, with some of it being used to address the opiate crisis. Small towns that were once dying, have found their economies revitalized because of cannabis tourism. Now, new data shows that the state of Colorado has the lowest unemployment rate in the US.
According to CNBC, the unemployment rate in Colorado is at 2.3 percent, which is nearly half of the national average of 4.3 percent. Colorado governor John Hickenlooper attributes this to the state being “business friendly” and having the lowest corporate tax rate in the country. While this no doubt contributed some, what really made the difference is probably the cannabis industry.
In 2015, the cannabis industry created 18,000 new jobs. In 2016, the state made 1.3 billion in sales, and 198.5 million in tax revenue, according to CNBC. This is a massive increase from 699.2 in 2014, and 996.2 in 2015. In the last two years, revenue has almost doubled. If these trends continue, then sales may reach over 5 billion by 2020, a little less than one fifth of the state’s budget. That’s pretty impressive.
In an age where automation and outsourcing is causing jobs to disappear, the cannabis industry is starting to fill in the gaps that have been left by vanishing manufacturing jobs. There’s no doubt that if cannabis prohibition were lifted, this would have a powerful effect on our national economy. We’re most likely headed for another economic crash when the student loan bubble bursts. The repealment of the most important components of the Dodd Frank banking bill have essentially given banks the same powers they had prior to the recession. There may come a time where the cannabis industry will need to bail us out. Will our Congress do what’s needed?
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