Federal Cannabis Legalization could Create $129B in Tax Revenue and 1.6M Jobs

A new report has found the federal legalization of cannabis could produce nearly $129 billion in additional tax revenue as well as create over one million jobs nationwide.

In their new report, Cannabis in the US Economy: Jobs, Growth and Tax Revenue, 2019 Edition, New Frontier Data’s analysts predict a 15 percent federal sales tax on legal cannabis sales could bring in $73.7 billion by 2025. The U.S. Treasury is currently prohibited from collecting taxes on illegal drugs, so the nearly $74 billion would be an entirely new stream of revenue for the country.

“With so much speculation about economic slowdown, the potential for federally legal cannabis to create up to a million new jobs and close to $130 billion in tax revenue is likely going to be of interest to regulators and presidential candidates in 2020,”said  New Frontier Data Founder and CEO Giadha Aguirre de Carcer.

The report says the legal cannabis industry created around 82,000 jobs this year and has created over 200,000 full-time jobs nationwide. Analysts predicted if federal legalization occurred in every state, over 1.46 million jobs would be created, with the number growing to 1.63 million by 2025 as the industry grows. The increase in jobs would also mean an increase in payroll taxes for the government, with the report predicting payroll taxes for new cannabis industry employees could reach $9.5 billion by 2025.

To prepare for the glut of cannabis jobs opening up, some universities have begun offering cannabis classes. In 2017, Northern Michigan University became the first university to offer a four-year degree in Medical Plant Chemistry to “prepare students for success in emerging industries related to medicinal plant production, analysis and distribution.” University of California, Davis, Cornell University and Harvard Law School all offer various cannabis classes as well.

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