Page 144

BUSINESS

WRITER / SHASTA NELSON

C

ANNABIS IS ALREADY A huge cash crop for the nation, the overall market is projected to be worth around $7 billion by the end of the year, and that’s just recorded, legal sales. In Colorado alone, cannabis sales reached $996 million, collecting a whopping $70 million in tax revenue. The move towards national legalization has shown just how profitable cannabis can be, and we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg. With many states moving towards recreational legalization, the potential uses for marijuana have opened up along with the casting aside of archaic prohibition laws. Nine states are voting on some form of legalization this November, and perhaps one of the most influential items up for vote is California’s Prop 64, which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults over the age of 21. California passed the Medical Marijuana Initiative 20 years ago in 1996 and recently passed The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act; creating a comprehensive system for regulating the production, distribution and sale of medical marijuana through existing agencies, while also establishing a Bureau of Medical Cannabis under the Department of Medical Affairs. California is paving the way for legalization—and with good reason—it has consistently retained a position on the list of top 10 economies in the world. California’s economy surpassed France’s economic output in 2015. If the state legalizes cannabis for recreational use, cannabis may become the nation’s next big cash crop. Last year’s sales for California were an incredible $2.7 billion, according to ArcView Market Research, and that only includes documented medical marijuana. If legalized, the projected tax revenue alone for cannabis sales in California is projected to be in the billions. Essentially, California would be garnering tax revenue at a rate greater than the total of all current market projections. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington as well as the District of Columbia have all legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults. Colorado has seen the most impressive figures with sales coming in at just a little under a billion dollars for 2015, and around $70 million in marijuana tax revenue. As the leading agricultural state, it’s safe to assume that California would be able to match Colorado’s success, and possibly surpass it. This industry is certainly one of great finan-

144

Profile for DOPE Magazine

Dope Magazine - November 2016 - The Food Issue - Oregon  

Featuring Eddie Huang

Dope Magazine - November 2016 - The Food Issue - Oregon  

Featuring Eddie Huang

Profile for dopemag