The advantages of cannabis legalisation are well documented. One of the benefits is that possession charges drop, freeing law enforcement to tackle more extreme crimes. The community benefits include a drop-in possession conviction, which disproportionately hits people of colour. Finally, the local economic benefits are well known, the cannabis industry has become one of the fastest growing job sectors in the USA.
There is another benefit that is somewhat less glamourous but is just as vital; tax revenue. Known as the only other certainty in life aside from death, taxes are pretty damn important. Without taxes we’d have no roads, public schools, or things for billionaires to dodge, they’re a key part of society.
Young and Dynamic Industry
The Nevada cannabis scene is still new, but it is incredibly dynamic. It has thus far brought over $30 million in taxes for the state thus far! On top of this cannabis retailers have sold more than $195 million worth of cannabis products in the first six months of legalised use.
Nevada charges 15% tax on wholesale cannabis products and a lower rate of 10% on retail. In the first month of legalisation the state raked in a respectable $3.7 million. Nevada may not have had cannabis legal for a long as the poster state for legalisation, Colorado, but they have already exceeded them in cannabis sales. Some predictions state that Nevada’s legal cannabis scene could be worth $622 million by 2020. A lot of this profit can be attributed to the major tourism draw of Las Vegas.
Of course, cannabis remains illegal on a federal level, and with all the tourists flying in and out of Nevada it could easily result in a few federal breaches. For this reason, cannabis ‘Amnesty boxes’ have been installed in airports to allow those leaving the state to safely dispose of any excess cannabis they may be carrying before they board their flight.
Other States to Follow Suit?
More and more states are considering legalisation. The states that have, make a compelling case, and few can deny the fiscal, and social advantages of legal cannabis. It remains to be seen whether the US government will legalise cannabis across all the states, but all that tax revenue is hard to ignore.