What Has Been The Financial Impact of Legalized Cannabis?

In the United States, it is stated in the Federal Law that the use and possession of marijuana are illegal. Marijuana may be viewed as an addictive drug but with the advancement of scientific findings, it has proven to give positive results and cure different health problems. That is why in Columbia and other states, the use of cannabis for medication is legal upon doctor’s recommendation.

Though it is under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 that prohibits the use of an illegal substance, many people have been voting the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. It was in 2012 when the Colorado and Washington states initiated to vote to legalized marijuana and prevailed. Now, there are 9 states which the recreational use of marijuana is legal. They are namely the following: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, and Vermont. These mentioned states are where the commercial distribution of marijuana are allowed as per the jurisdiction is concerned.


It is reported that the sales of marijuana in Washington and Colorado have reached the heights of tax revenues over the years. In the year 2015, the state of Colorado has gathered over $135 million in fees and taxes just for the operation of both recreational and medical marijuana. Also, according to the analytics report by the New Frontier, it is projected that the legalization of cannabis can bring a boost of $105.6 billion in a span of 8yrs. (2017 – 2025).

Making marijuana legal attracts a lot of job opportunities for the growing economy of the state. This is to say that when cannabis plantation and nurseries and distributions are set up, it will create more jobs and improve the growth of the economy. Having a marijuana industry bring a more active economic activity and thus help generate a higher labor income. It is estimated that over the course of years, more than $1.7 billion will be gained by Nevada through this economic activity.


It is still in the unclear state whether all states will aim to hit these potentials as it is still a constant debate if the legalization of marijuana is can be justified in good terms. The two hanging questions here are whether it can lift the economy or pose an increasing conflict and disputes with the federal law. Authorities have seen this legalization as one way to eliminate the expansion of the black market when they manage a state-run marijuana production. When the government has a strong control over the production and keep the prices higher, it can likely cut the youth access and may help reduce overall marijuana consumption.

Again, the choices are in the people’s decisions. It is about weighing all the advantages and disadvantages and measuring the positive and the negative sides. It is more than just having a pick between prohibition and legalization but trying to have a definite answer on what option would give the greater benefits for the people. As the research and analysis presents, the cannabis legalization can minimize drug use and at the same time, weaken the black market and contribute growth to the local economies.