There is a rising tide of opinion in this country which could destroy society as we know it (according to the nay-sayers) – on the other hand, it could be the salvation of the nation.
I’m talking about pot. Weed. Marijuana. Mary Jane. Bud. Whatever you want to call it, it is the focus of an intense debate here in the US. On the one hand, you have the “moral minority” who oppose the use of this most useful of plants. They state many reasons, most of them hysterical, sensational, or outright lies. On the other hand, you have the vast majority who recognize that prohibition is senseless and that there’s nothing wrong with blazing a bowl once in a while. On the gripping hand, you have the demonstrated medical value along with an enormous potential for revenue – which is what I want to talk about here.
Yesterday’s clarification of the Obama Administration’s position on state versus federal law with regard to medical marijuana cultivation is an indication of a significant change in attitude by the federal government (whether they like it or not!) In light of that, the question must be asked: how much revenue can a state derive from growing marijuana? California is already proposing a tax on the bud (in addition to the sales tax that they are already collecting). Oregon is considering setting up a state growing program. Let’s think about the financial implications here, and how best to maximize them.
A state can get revenue from both sales tax, and a weed tax, as already stated. Oregon has gone one step further, and wants to get the sales revenue on top of the taxes. Excellent – huge cash opportunity (and everyone knows, California needs it right now).
Now ask the question: at a state level, where is the best place to operate a growing program from?
Consider state prisons. Security is in place already, land is available – and the inmate population are most likely extremely familiar with the growing process and the product. So, not only does the state get the sales tax, product tax, and sales revenue, it gets the added cost-saving of zero labor costs and zero acquisition costs! It’s a triple-whammy!
Further down the line, the prisons will start to empty out due to the reduced number of convictions for possession. They can then be turned into growing-only operations, retaining the existing staff and creating opportunities for locals to gain employment.
Is it just me, or is this a no-brainer?