When states legalize cannabis use for recreational and medical purposes, other industries can reap the benefits of legalization. Almost every industry from construction to education has seen revenue from cannabis in some form. These are the top five industries benefiting from cannabis legalization:
States with recreational marijuana laws on the books have seen a spike in tourism. Cannabis can especially be a draw for tourists coming from states where prohibition exists. Cities like Seattle, Portland, and Denver have become popular destinations for cannabis travel, especially around the infamous unofficial stoner holiday 420.
Colorado has really cashed in in the cannabis tourist department. In 2017, the state of Colorado hit an all-time high with the number visitors coming to the Rocky Mountain state. The state netted over $63 billion in earnings from travel in last year alone.
Canada is slated to become a preferred tourist destination once recreational marijuana becomes legal in October. Already, Windsor, Canada is a tourist destination of sorts for Americans who wanted to enjoy an adult beverage on their 19th birthday. Now, the town that neighbors Detroit is preparing for an influx of Americans looking to enjoy marijuana legally.
Another industry that is a huge benefactor from cannabis legalization is education. Schools benefit from taxes collected from both medical and recreational marijuana. The Colorado Department of Education received over $140 million from cannabis revenue between 2015 and 2017.
Some schools in the state have complained because the funds come in a non-traditional manner, not per-pupil funding like most tax generated school funds. To receive the funding, Colorado schools are required to apply through a few different grant processes.
Another state that saw a boost from legalized marijuana was Oregon. In 2016, the state received an extra $40 million in tax revenue. Oregon’s state education system got the lion’s share of the surplus with 40 percent.
The construction industry has also seen a financial bump in areas where marijuana is legal. All states require that buildings, where marijuana businesses are operated, meet certain conditions. To meet those standards, the cannabis businesses usually hire a general contractor to come to build out or make modifications. That is just for the smaller cannabis businesses.
On a larger scale, developers are investing in major projects like the Harvest Park in Michigan. Sitting just miles outside of the state’s capital city, the 130-acre cultivation facility has is currently under construction. In addition to the construction on the building, it is estimated that an addition $2 million is needed for infrastructure for streets and utilities around the park.
Security and Surveillance
Like the construction industry, security and surveillance companies are making money thanks to the cannabis industry. Every state requires that all marijuana licensees have a security plan as part of their application process.
On the front end, businesses pursuing cannabis applications are hiring security firms to help them develop a plan to prevent product diversion and promote a safe business. Once applications are awarded, nearly every state requires video surveillance monitoring operations around the clock. Cannabis surveillance has created its own multimillion-dollar niche market.
Software and Technology
Companies specializing in technology are making serious money in the cannabis space. Similar to security and surveillance, all states require a seed-to-sale tracking system. There are a few throughout the country, but BioTrack THC, MJ Freeway, and METRC have emerged as leaders.
One common thread for each of these tech companies is that they have procured government contracts in states with marijuana programs. METRC holds several state contracts including in states where recreational use is legal like Alaska, Colorado, and California.
In their first contract with Colorado back in 2011, METRC received nearly $900,000. Even though MJ Freeway has had some challenges with its software, the company made a lot of noise in the industry when it was awarded Pennsylvania’s state contract valued at $10.4 million.
With the seed-to-sale systems, there is still opportunity from companies to provide dispensaries with a point of sale systems. Companies like MJ Menu and Cannalogic just a few leading the way in payment processing at the retail level.