Now that the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” has officially qualified for the ballot in California, everyone’s attention turns to the vote this November and beyond. If recreational legalization is passed by voters it will unleash an economic revolution in the state.
By itself, California is the world’s 6h largest economy. With almost 40 million people and a medical marijuana industry that is 20 years old, CA is primed for government restrictions to be taken off of recreational growing and sales.
Experts say that California’s legal cannabis industry could be generating $4 billion a year by 2020. This means tens of thousands of jobs being created and tons of investment money pouring into the state.
There are some who bemoan the coming “corporate takeover” of cannabis. These people know nothing of the economies of scale that allow big companies to hire more people, pay better and advance the efficiency of the industry more so than any small business could. This doesn’t mean there is no place for small businesses in the cannabis industry; it will be like every other industry, with some small companies, some medium-sized companies and some big companies. Some people shop at Wal-Mart and some shop at the local/regional supermarket. The consumer holds the power.
This is especially true of the marijuana industry. If a person doesn’t like shopping for marijuana at any retailer, they can grow their own at home. The consumer in the legal marijuana industry will have more power than in just about any other industry they buy products from. If you need a TV you have to buy one from somewhere; you can’t grow one in a pot in your basement. But if legalization passes in CA, you’ll be able to grow pot in a pot in your basement or bedroom or back yard or garage or any other room; up to six plants to be more specific.
Could there be less taxes and regulations than what comes with AUMA? Of course, that is true of just about every industry in this country. But the key is getting legalization accomplished and then turning all attention to getting it improved in the face of those who want to add restrictions, like we are seeing in Colorado.
And let’s face it, a loss in California this year could be quite detrimental to the cannabis law reform movement as a whole, while being a huge boost to those who fight to keep prohibition intact.