Can the U.S. Economy Benefit From Marijuana Legalization?


Currently, there are only eight states in the United States where cannabis possession/use is still fully illegal and criminal. This means that the majority of the U.S. has at least decriminalized it. Surprisingly, though, cannabis is still illegal at the federal level. Several aspects of the U.S. economy could greatly benefit from at least partial legalization of marijuana.

Government Revenue

Legalizing cannabis would allow the government to collect not only sales tax but also business and payroll taxes. Studies show that by legalizing marijuana on the federal level, the U.S. government could bring in more than $10 billion per year.


The legalization of marijuana leads to the development of various cannabis-related industries such as those specializing in plant growth, medicinal manufacturing and accessory sales. Whether working for growers in California’s Emerald Triangle, or marijuana dispensaries in Chicago, people of all education and skill levels will be needed to fill many positions. Industries that aren’t directly associated with the cannabis industry will also profit (e.g., construction companies and software developers).

Investor Profits

With marijuana legalization, comes the manufacturing of cannabis and cannabidiol medications. Investors can profit off the gains of these companies, as well as other cannabis-related businesses. There’s so much growth potential for the cannabis industry, practically everyone will profit from it in some way.

Law Enforcement

Enforcing marijuana laws costs the federal government a significant amount of money each year – approximately $3.16 billion. If you think about how many court cases are associated with marijuana offenses and everyone who is locked up for these crimes, the government has an investment in keeping it illegal. Legalizing marijuana would also solve the problem of overcrowded prisons.

The consumer will also benefit from the regulation that’ll come from marijuana legalization, making transactions safer and more cost-effective. The states that have started down the path have proven that there are way more pros than cons and the state and federal economies will profit tremendously.

Marijuana for health

Research on the possibility of cannabis as a cure for diabetes has been attempted by the Circle of Marijuana Archipelago (LGN) in 2014. This research is based on the results of a study by Lola Weiss, researcher at Hadassah University Hospital Ein Kerem, Israel, in 2006, which showed that cannabinoids have the potential to reduce diabetes cases .

Responding to the LGN effort, in January 2015, the then health minister, Nila F. Moeloek, through the Health Research and Development Agency issued a decision that approved the research proposed by LGN on the condition that it should be done in a government laboratory.

However, this research was later delayed by the main reason that cannabis research was costly and not a priority.

Several benefits of cannabis have been explored. The National Cancer Institute in the US found, for example, that cannabinoids – one of the compounds found in cannabis – have the potential to reduce the side effects caused by chemotherapy in cancer.

Based on the results of a study by Grand View Research, a market research institute in the US, the medical sector became the largest source of income for the global cannabis industry in 2019, which was 71%. The cannabis industry is also predicted to be worth up to $ 73.6 billion by 2027.