Every so often a bill gets presented to the Senate that talks about one thing, legalizing cannabis. Year after year, presidency after presidency, we fail as a nation to see this bill be passed. A bill named “H.R. 420” has been presented and has brought the idea of regulating cannabis like alcohol into the forefront. The idea behind this bill is that it would pull cannabis from the federal controlled substances list and instead, be overseen by the Bureau of Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after the regulation of cannabis like alcohol had begun. The impact of legalizing cannabis across the USA seems to be a far off dream, but what would happen if we did?.
Sales in Colorado and Washington alone have shown the impact that legalizing cannabis can have. In 2015 alone, Colorado collected $135 million just in taxes and fees on medicinal and recreational cannabis and sales in the state totaled over $996 million. These numbers are projected to exceed $20.1 billion by 2021 and it has been shown that the legal cannabis industry contributed more than $58 million to the local economy. There has been a report done the analytics company called New Frontier, that shows if cannabis was legalized on a federal level, it could generate an additional $131.8 billion in aggregate federal revenue by 2025.
Nationwide legalization could also bring a potential 1.1 million jobs to our country by 2025 with the countless dispensaries and nurseries that could be opened. The cannabis industry is a fast paced environment they would be looking for people at all stages. From farming and harvesting to the shipment and distribution and even software developers and construction companies would see a boom. There are numerous job opportunities to be had when it comes to the cannabis line of work.
The potential that cannabis has when it comes to boosting our economy and work-force is something that shouldn’t be ignored. Hopefully, this bill, even if everything in it isn’t accepted, can be molded into something that can benefit everyone.