No, not “green” as in paperless. “Green” as in marijuana. A total of 54.47% of Nevada voters voted “yes” on Question 2, beating out the naysayers by almost 100,000 votes. Question 2 legalizes recreational marijuana by people who are 21 years old and over. So what does this mean for Nevada residents and economy?
Although medical marijuana has been legal in Nevada since 2000, medical dispensaries just recently increased in numbers. Question 2 now allows adults 21 and up to possess up to one ounce of marijuana beginning on January 1, 2017. Moreover, the Department of Taxation will have to craft regulations to govern the cultivation, production, testing, and sale of marijuana by January 1, 2018. Hopefully this eliminates the underground marijuana market, which will make Nevada’s streets far safer than before.
The passage of Question 2 will also significantly stimulate Nevada’s economy. There will be a 15% excise tax on sales by cultivation facilities and licensing fees of $3,300-$30,000 depending on the type of license the establishment holds. This excise tax is expected to result in over $60 million in revenue annually. This revenue will be spent not only on the enforcement of recreational use, but more importantly on Nevada schools. With some of the lowest rated schools in the nation, Nevada can use all of the financial help it can get to improve education for Nevada students.
Whether you voted “yes” on Question 2 or “no” on Question 2, as a Nevada resident you will likely benefit from its passage. The marijuana market is expected to result in over $1.1 billion in overall economic activity in Nevada. The market is expected to create approximately 3,300 jobs and support 6,200 jobs overall. Nevadans should be proud to be at the forefront of this movement. Nevada, California, Massachusetts, and Maine all joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington in the legalization of recreational marijuana. In time, this legalization movement will likely reach all of the United States.
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