There are a record number of states voting on marijuana legalization this election cycle, and that is a massive boon to the fast-growing marijuana industry.
There are five states voting on marijuana legalization when voters trek to the polls on Nov. 8. Those five states include Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
On Election Day 2016, voters in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota will cast ballots on whether their states will start comprehensive medical marijuana programs. In Montana, voters will decide if restriction on their state's existing marijuana programs should be relaxed.
Marijuana legalization supporters say that these marijuana initiatives on the ballot provide advocates with more experience. The marijuana legalization vote also helps raise awareness for their campaigns.
So far, four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use via voter referendums. Meanwhile, 25 states have approved medical marijuana programs.
Medical marijuana is used for the treatment of pain associated with a variety of diseases and conditions. It is also used to lower eye pressure in patients with glaucoma, reduce anxiety, slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and lessen side effects and increase treatment effectiveness from Hepatitis C therapies.
Studies are ongoing to uncover even better and other ways to use medical marijuana. It's a big business that continues to get substantially bigger.
And that has created an extremely bullish market for marijuana stocks…
States Voting on Marijuana Legalization Will Boost Marijuana Stocks
To date, 39 states have passed legislation approving marijuana for medical or recreational use. Collectively, the marijuana industry brings in $4.4 billion annually. That figure grows every year.
The medical marijuana industry is projected to surpass $40 billion in the next five to 10 years. If marijuana is legalized nationwide, the industry could swell to $100 billion by 2050. That's according to a March 2016 report by Ackrell Capital.
And states that have legalized marijuana are appreciating a significant spike in revenue thanks to "green taxes."
In fact, TaxFoundation.org reports that nationwide legalization-and-tax regime could see states raise billions of dollars annually in marijuana tax revenue.
Marijuana tax collections in Colorado and Washington have far exceeded initial estimates.
Colorado's retail marijuana sales began on Jan. 1, 2014. Following a slow start (with two in five purchases made by out-of-state patrons), Colorado marijuana tax revenue now vastly exceeds original estimates of $70 million per year. The $56 million Colorado took in during 2014 grew to $113 million in 2015. It will likely exceed $140 million in 2016.
With a bright spotlight on how lucrative the marijuana market already is, and its massive potential growth, interest and investment in the marijuana market has swelled.
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- Tax Foundation: Marijuana Legalization and Taxes: Lessons for Other States from Colorado and Washington
- News Max Health: Medical Marijuana Industry Projected to Top $40 Billion
- Business Insider: 23 Health Benefits of Marijuana