The economic impact of a regulated adult market in Florida can assist with funding the state in some of the most important areas. Regulated adult use creates a new legal market for cannabis sales in Florida, with that comes tax dollars, jobs, increased property values, and tourism to the state. In looking at the potential market in Florida, we can compare to Colorado, a state with approximately 5 million people, compared to Florida’s 20 million. Colorado generated revenue from legal and adult sales of approximately $1.3 billion in 2016, a 30% increase from 2015. Of that $1.3 billion, 200 million went to the state as tax revenue. This has allowed the state to build schools, assist the homeless, and create a booming job market and economy in the state. At 4 times the size of Colorado, we can estimate a 2-3 billion dollar market in the first few years of passing Regulate Florida’s petition. Realtor.com did a study on the housing market in legal states and found a significant increase in property values in those states, with an increase in both pricing and demand. According to Forbes, the legal cannabis market was worth $7.2 billion in 2016, and is projected to grow at an annual rate of 17%. Annual surveys by Marijuana Business Daily estimate the industry currently employs 100,000 to 150,000 workers. In 2015 alone, Colorado created over 18,000 jobs. Florida is the perfect market for the cannabis industry to continue to grow we have the 3rd largest population in the state and already have over 100 million tourists visit a year. The economic impact of adult use in Florida can create over 30 thousand jobs, and over 200 million in tax revenue.
A regulated adult use market for cannabis is showing an amazing and unexpected benefit to states that have passed it. Most importantly, study after study has shown there is no increase in teen use, and in fact some decrease in use. The numbers are clear that the biggest segment of the population turning on to cannabis are seniors, with the largest increase in use over the past few years. Cannabis has also had a profound effect on reducing opiate addiction, reducing usage by those who need it, decreasing overdose deaths, and cannabis is becoming an exit drug to addiction. Veterans with PTSD are also benefitting from the use of cannabis with a decrease in the suicide rate in legal states. The benefits of cannabis continue to be illustrated in society as people who use cannabis are less likely to abuse their spouses, get in bar fights, and overall living in a more harmonious lifestyle. The use of cannabis has also been shown to result in fewer absences by employees and no negative impact on workplace performance. An adult use market will helps us turn our prisons into profits, strengthen our impoverished communities, and become the cornerstone of building a better Florida.