Legal Marijuana Is A Boon To The Economy, Finds Study – Forbes – Forbes

PUEBLO, CO – September 3, 2016: Jason, a Colorado native and an employee at Los Sueños Farms LLC, puts staves in to growing cannabis plants. Los Sueños Farms is the owner of 36 acres of rich farmland in Pueblo County, Colorado, which it leases to four Colorado licensed retail marijuana cultivators. (Photo by Vince Chandler / The Denver Post)

Researchers found that legalizing marijuana had a positive impact on the economy of Pueblo County, Colo. In a landmark report out of the Colorado State University-Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research, researchers found that a taxed and regulated cannabis industry contributed more than $58 million to the local economy, reports The Denver Post.

While there was about $23 million in added costs to legalization – including law enforcement and social services – the county still ended up with a net positive impact of more than $35 million.

The research itself was funded by state and local marijuana taxes, reported CPR. “When compared to other similar communities in states where cannabis is not legal in any form, Pueblo appears to be doing better on a number of measures,” read the report.

The study’s authors pointed out some of the harms associated with legalization, including an increase in illegal marijuana grow operations and confusion among law enforcement officers trying to keep up with ever-changing pot regulations. But the report is notable in dispelling some of the harms that are often attributed to legalization: The researchers found no evidence that legal cannabis contributed to increased homelessness or increased youth use of marijuana.

Pueblo has made headlines for its scholarships that are funded by a local marijuana excise tax. Last year, the county dedicated $420,000 to scholarships for 210 students. This year, the county is set to triple the number of

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