Congressional members speak up on marijuana’s economic benefits

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Marijuana sales could reach $11 billion this year and $23 billion by 2022

This past Tuesday, Democrats who are part of the Joint Economic Committee released a report that shows the “economic benefits of legalized cannabis at the state and national levels.” The report is entitled The National Cannabis Economy” and indicates that the marijuana industry is expected to see outstanding growth over the next several years.

The report shows explosive marijuana sales revenue are on the way. From an industry that made $8 billion last year, marijuana sales produced $11 billion this year and are expected to reach $23 billion within the next three years. The report’s authors add, “The growth of the cannabis economy presents opportunities for greater job creation, more tax revenue, and better patient care.”

Lawmakers also demonstrated what each state is expected to produce in tax revenue from the cannabis industry. Washington leads the way with $247 million among its 1,947 retail dispensaries. Next is Colorado, which has 549 dispensaries and produced $247 million in tax revenue last year. California has had a strong 2018, producing $234.2 million in tax revenue during the first three quarters of the year with its 358 retail stores.

In a press release, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich – the ranking member of the congressional panel, asserted, “It’s time we legalize marijuana, but at the minimum, we must reduce the conflicts between federal and state laws so that the industry can continue to create jobs and bolster state economies. This conflict hurts small businesses and constrains the economic benefits of legal cannabis—an industry that is estimated to reach $11 billion in sales this year and $23 billion by 2022. But in order to realize the benefits, we must act on legislation such as the STATES Act to help these businesses thrive.”