Marijuana isn’t “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” or “Friday” or “Beavis and Butthead” anymore. In fact, those references are so old that many of you may not even remember them, or may not have even been born when they were popular.
Marijuana isn’t even represented by the classics like “Cheech and Chong” or hippies and comfy couches. Thanks to states grabbing the reins and exerting their prerogatives, marijuana is now big business. Dispensaries are doing billions of dollars in business and since California started the trend in 1996 by passing a state law legalizing medical marijuana. More states are quickly joining the pot revolution and even legalizing recreational marijuana.
However, there is still a big problem: the federal government.
Revenues from the domestic marijuana industry are expected to grow from $6.7 billion in 2016 to more than $21 billion by 2021. And that is just the start. When you look at the economy dynamically, that $21 billion is the tip of the iceberg. With that kind of growth, employment increases not only in the marijuana industry it increases in other markets. As people in the marijuana industry start making more money, and the people in jobs that support the industry start making more money – then they spend more money and the growth continues. That all means jobs and tax revenue that states don’t currently have. But as the economic growth numbers grow, so will the need for assurances from the federal government that they won’t intercede in the growth of the market.
President Trump made repeated promises to respect the will of people in states that have consented to medical marijuana while on the campaign trail, great! Even better, as pointed out in a Reason article earlier this year, Congress has been trying to send those signals too: