We are about to have state number two on the "marijuana-is-approved" list come into reality (Colorado was the first, and Washington state is now the second state).
Some folks with 247 Wall Street sat down and did the analysis on the next group to enter this stage.
The list? Alaska (the vote comes in November and will likely pass), California (likely within two years), Maryland (they will virtually decriminalize it to the extent that it's more serious if you jay-walked than it is buying weed), Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon (likely by the election of 2016), Rhode Island, and Vermont.
What does the trend indicate? No southern states within the foreseeable future. Also, shockingly enough....Michigan wasn't on the next list....while the residents of Detroit would easily vote up such a measure with a twenty-point margin (my humble bet).
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, I noted that marijuana farmers out of South America have virtually stopped their production cycle....with no one really interested in buying it or transporting into the US. Mostly because there's already plenty of legal marijuana already on the market, and tons more coming from US farming operations.
The DEA guys? They seem to have basically given up on crimes and the legal system surrounding marijuana.
What's left? Taxation on sales of marijuana. On this topic.....someone has to be standing there and calculating the actual sales going on in Colorado, and knows the daily revenue numbers. ABC reported just in the past few days of the first accurate study of sales over the weed....which they figure around 130 metric tons of weed were sold in the past year. Roughly ninety percent went to state residents and the rest for "guests".
The market value currently reflects around $220 an ounce for weed. You can do the math....but it'd come out just over a billion dollars a year for state sales....if the $220 number is accurate (I'd question this myself and think the number is lower).
If you attach a taxation deal to the sales.....and you border Colorado....then you have to wonder about what sales taxation you are missing....if your "buyers" walk over the border to buy their stuff. In the end.....if you figure you lost $200 million on possible taxes....you'd get pretty upset, and start to campaign on getting it approved in your state.
The guys conducting this survey.....kinda limited themselves. They left out a number of questions....either because of time, man-power, or just limits. For example....for these 'guests' of the state....where are they coming from? Texas? Utah? And the age grouping of the buyers? And were they continual repeat buyers?
Whether we like it or not....weed is now a business, and a revenue machine. It'll eventually turn into a taxation device. And we will have to accept the fact that more people smoke weed, than those who don't.