A Snapshot of the Industry’sContribution
Since California enacted the firsteffective state medical marijuana law in1996, 16 other states and the District of Columbia have followed, either throughvoter initiative or legislative action byimplementing similar “compassionateuse” laws. Medical marijuana laws will beunder consideration by several statelegislatures next year and will be on theballot in at least two states this year(Arkansas and Massachusetts).These laws not only shield physician-approved patients from prosecutionunder certain state criminal marijuanastatutes, they have also lead to theemergence of a new alternative healthcare industry. This industry supportsthousands of jobs across the country;pays hundreds of millions in taxes andlicensing fees to state, local and federalgovernments; and helps to support realestate markets by occupying retail andindustrial space. This new industry hasblossomed during otherwise dismaleconomic times, causing state and localgovernments to become increasinglydependent on tax revenue from medicalmarijuana to support vital public services.The following report provides a snapshotof the medical marijuana industry’scontribution to ten large and small citiesin the state of Colorado—one of thenation’s most well-regulated andestablished markets. Although only tencities are profiled, the cannabis industryis active in more than 60 cities in thestate of Colorado; home to nearly100,000 registered medical marijuanapatients.
Key Findings, 2011:
Medical cannabis sales in the tencities tracked for this reportproduced $5,185,368 in local salestax revenue and $4,496,771 in statesales tax revenue in 2011.
City taxes collected from medicalmarijuana businesses in the City of Denver were enough to fund 98% of the city’s Parks and RecreationAdministration—the largestmunicipal park system in the nation.
The medical marijuana industry inColorado Springs generated morethan enough local tax revenue tofund the refurbishment of two fireengines and three aerial trucks— vital to the effort to fight thedevastating 2012 Waldo Canyonfires.
In Grand Junction, the cannabisindustry produced more salesrevenue than the grocery industry in2010.
There are more than 4,200 state-licensed employees working inColorado’s medical marijuanaindustry.It is our goal to provide enough evidenceto serve as an example of what thecannabis industry could do for the stateof Colorado; the other states withindustry presence; futures statesimplementing legislation for the industry;and ultimately, the entire country.
About the National Cannabis Industry Association
The National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA)membership is comprised of over 110 of the leading businessesand organizations in America’s emerging cannabis industry.The mission of NCIA is to promote the growth of aresponsible and legitimate cannabis industry and to work for afavorable social, economic and legal environment for thatindustry in the United States.NCIA is focusing on three key campaigns for the cannabisindustry:1)
Protecting Legitimate Business
NCIA is educating the public and policymakers about thecontribution legitimate cannabis businesses make to theeconomy by generating extensive tax revenue and well-paying, sustainable jobs.2)
To benefit the industry and the state agencies tasked withtaxing and regulating it, NCIA is leading a national effortto ensure medical marijuana providers are afforded thesame banking and financial services as any other legitimatebusiness.3)
Fair Tax Policy
NCIA believes that state-sanctioned medical cannabisbusinesses should be able to take the same taxdeductions as other small businesses and is working toreform the federal tax code accordingly.