Economic Impacts of the Cannabis Industry

How Legalizing Marijuana Will Affect Every Citizen

Turn on the television, read a news site or listen to the radio and you’re bound to come across a story about the legalization of the cannabis industry.

Legislative efforts across the country have resulted in the passage of medical and recreational marijuana laws in 29 states as well as the District of Columbia. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced plans to legalize recreational marijuana across the country. At the same time, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has indicated he would like to rescind the Cole Memo, which guides prosecutors on how to prioritize cannabis laws.

Love it or hate it, there’s no question that the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis would be a huge win for state and federal government budgets. Last year in Colorado, the state collected more than $135 in taxes. California, which voted to legalize recreational marijuana, is projected to exceed $15 billion in sales and $3 billion in tax revenue, according to ICF International.

The money from taxes would help balance strained budgets for pensions, healthcare, housing, education and social programs. It would also allow police and law enforcement to spend less money and resources on marijuana enforcement and more on serious drug offenses and crimes.

As the legal cannabis market becomes mainstream, a February 2017 Forbes Magazine article projected that it will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. That’s more than the expected level of jobs produced in manufacturing, utilities or even government.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Of course, legalizing an industry that has been largely unregulated has its own set of challenges. Governments need to monitor, track and regulate the cannabis industry. Banking, security and transportation services are needed to securely transport the extremely valuable product as it travels from growers to dispensaries, producers and retailers. Quality control, pesticide restrictions and price regulation are necessary to protect consumers.

After working in the financial industry for more than 20 years, I founded Amercanex to help with many of these issues. Our marketplace helps protect both the consumer and business owner by tracking cannabis from seed to sale, creating price transparency and operating at true market pricing. All products traded on our marketplace have been lab tested to ensure quality control.

Our three platforms, ACExchange, ACEpay and ACEtrak, have helped streamline the buying and selling process while instilling safeguards for the wholesale cannabis industry.

These safety measures are badly needed. Because cannabis has been largely unregulated for years, there has not been a track record of government oversight and protection. As the cannabis industry continues to grow, we need these protections now more than ever.

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Steve Janjic
Steve Janjic is CEO of Amercanex, founded to provide a transparent, neutral and non-manipulated marketplace for institutional cannabis-industry participants, including growers and retailers. The company, a commodities exchange for the rapidly growing industry, strictly adheres to the centralizing regulatory and reporting requirements to local and regional regulatory authorities. Janjic is also the former global head of eFX Sales and Distribution at Tullett Prebon, one of the world’s largest institutional brokerage firms, with 168 years in the marketplace. While with Tullett Prebon, he has established a global sales force focusing on institutional e-commerce and prime brokerage sales/distribution teams.