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  • Christopher Smith, Publisher

Cannabis Sales Hit Record $17.5B in 2020; Seizures at Southern Border Down 80%

Seems the cannabis industry is firing on all cylinders, as national sales figures for 2020 showed $17.5 Billion in sales - an increase of 46% over 2019 - according to a study released by BDSA as reported by Forbes.

Major growth came from the big-market adult-use states,

"... especially mature markets like Colorado, which grew sales by 26% to reach $2.2 billion, and Oregon, which saw sales hit $1.1 billion, a 29% increase over 2019... Emerging markets like Illinois, which expanded its medical cannabis market to include adult-use sales last year, saw the largest dollar gain in 2020, rising by $784 million. [to] over $1 billion in sales. California, the country’s largest cannabis economy at $3.5 billion, increased sales by $586 million, while Florida saw a $473 million increase."

Sales results accrue to business owners, but what are the benefits of legalized cannabis to Americans as a whole? First, let's look at how those taxes are spent. In California which has raised $1Billion in revenue in its first 2 years of legal adult-use: "The bulk of that $1.03 billion in tax money, after covering regulatory costs, has been spent on programs such as child care for low income families, cannabis research, public safety grants and cleaning up public lands harmed by illegal marijuana grows.", says the Orange County Register.

It took Colorado five years to raise $1 Billion in tax revenue. In the Centennial State, "Marijuana tax revenue funds Colorado Department of Education programs such as the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) capital construction assistance fund, as well as the Early Literacy Competitive Grant Program, School Health Professional Grant Program and the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program"; and that's not all: "The Colorado Department of Human Services uses marijuana revenue funds to support community behavioral health programs including mental health services for juveniles and adults, crisis services, criminal justice diversion, the Circle Program, substance use disorder and detoxification services. Additionally, funds support Mental Health Institutes at Pueblo and Fort Logan and Tony Grampsas Youth Services Program, which is a collection of community based programs that target youth and their families for prevention and intervention services in the effort to reduce incidents of youth crime and violence, to prevent youth marijuana use, and prevent child abuse and neglect," according to the Colorado Department of Revenue

That's a fraction of the total economic impact of the industry. Not only has it created 321,000 full-time jobs but also "American marijuana businesses could pump up to $130 billion on an annual basis into the U.S. economy by 2024, a staggering figure that highlights the true reach of the nation’s cannabis industry" according to the 2020 Marijuana Business Factbook.

Now, some say that "correlation does not imply causation", but here's an exception: increasing US production of legal cannabis CAUSES a reduction in smuggling. The US Drug Enforcement Administration reports that seizures of cannabis at the US southern border have fallen by 81 percent. since 2013. In its annual "2020 National Drug Threat Assessment", DEA reports that "... in U.S. markets, Mexican marijuana has largely been supplanted by domestic-produced marijuana."

We hope Attorney General Merrick Garland is taking notes... @TheJusticeDept

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