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How cannabis legalization is changing cities in the US

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How cannabis legalization is changing cities in the US

The topic of cannabis can be a taboo subject in some cases, as countries around the world have different views on the legalization of marijuana products based on their cultural and religious beliefs. In the United States specifically, the issue has been long disputed, with each state, for the time being, left to decide how it wants to deal with it. Each year, more and more states (now totaling 18 and the District of Columbia out of 50), have legalized the recreational sale and use of a limited amount of cannabis, but it remains illegal at the federal level.

Cannabis tax revenue has generated more than $2 billion Across legal states in the past year alone it is expected to grow to nearly 1$2 billion by 2030, exceeding tax revenue collected from the sale of alcoholAccording to bond strategists at Barclays. For states that tax the sale of cannabis productsThere were already significant benefits that helped further develop smaller cities and towns, make streets safer, increase funding for new municipal projects, local businesses, subsidies for low-income renters, improve public school systems, water and sewer line upgrades and other important infrastructure projects.

To fully understand how it has affected states that have had a long time to collect and redistribute tax dollars, Many researchers have closely analyzed Colorado and Washington, two of the first countries to legalize cannabis as a case study of how the additional revenue could benefit the public. These data sets and observations have also helped other countries weigh the benefits and risks of making their own decisions to legalize cannabis or not.


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Total state tax revenue (2014-2021).  Image © Kaley Overstreet, Data Via MPP
Total state tax revenue (2014-2021). Image © Kaley Overstreet, Data Via MPP

A fraction of the excise tax in Colorado It goes directly to the State Department of Education’s Public Schools Fund, to renovate existing facilities or build new ones, and the rest goes to the cash marijuana tax fund, which also supports education initiatives and includes grants for school professionals. The fund is also supporting the Department of Agriculture to focus on more hemp and grow other crops — another way to boost Colorado’s rural economy. Other parts are moving toward more physical aspects of urban and suburban life, such as public infrastructure support that will enable residents to use alternative transportation, and financial incentives to open small businesses that create new jobs, including cannabis product stores.

Other states, new to the cannabis industry, have also seen significant benefits. Maryland, which has legalized only approved medicinal uses, has seen much of its manufacturing industry revitalized, and old factories that had long been vacant refurbished. When the canning business in Maryland collapsed, the cannabis industry saw the existing infrastructure as an opportunity to begin the growth and manufacture of medical marijuana products, reintroducing the promise of the trade to surrounding communities.

A study conducted in Illinois on the effects of property values After the state made recreational cannabis legal, he showed that home prices had actually gone up. As tax revenue collected partially contributed to making the streets safer, the demand for housing in certain areas began to outpace the available supply. The conclusion was that for every million additional tax revenue from marijuana sales, the value of homes increased by about $500. Even the mere presence of dispensaries nearby is positively correlated with an increase in home values ​​as well. With each new dispensary the city adds, property values ​​increase by an additional $519. This is most likely due to residents watching Dispensaries as distinct commercial facilitiesAnd those who eat cannabis enjoy having it nearby.

While at the moment tax revenue from cannabis represents only a small percentage of the state budget, this is still a revenue stream that did not exist even a decade ago. Countries that have legalized cannabis have seen a more legal and responsible market that generates billions of dollars each year, with only those numbers expected to grow with hockey stick-like forecasts over the next 10-20 years. The potential for revenue is now scratching the surface, especially as the stigma around products and their effects is slowly fading. Many policymakers are beginning to imagine budgets being further bolstered by future tax flows, where perhaps one day much of our public infrastructure will be financed by this part of the picture.

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