ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Sept. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent economic report produced by Kelly O'Donnell, Ph.D., of O'Donnell Economics and Strategy found the legalized cannabis industry in New Mexico would total $412.5 million in annual revenues after the first year of implementation and $677.7 million by 2021.
The report, commissioned by Ultra Health® with support from the Drug Policy Alliance, Rio Grande Foundation and a consortium of industry advocates, also found that legalized cannabis would create more than 11,400 jobs – 6,600 in the direct cannabis industry and 4,780 in ancillary positions.
"Legalizing cannabis could have a profound effect on New Mexico's economy and help fill New Mexico's yawning budget gap," Dr. O'Donnell said. "But to achieve the benefits of a robust cannabis market, state policymakers must insist on common sense regulation and sound tax policy."
The legalized cannabis industry would generate three times the revenue of the pecan crop annually, and remove hundreds of millions of dollars off the criminal market.
"There is no doubt that legalizing cannabis in New Mexico would bring a great deal of consumption out of the shadows and into the above-ground economy," said Paul Gessing, President of Rio Grande Foundation. "This move could result in significant potential revenues and other benefits for New Mexico's economy, particularly in light of the current budget crisis."
Comparatively, the legalized cannabis markets in Washington and Colorado, which are in their second full year, are expected to total $1.4 billion and $833 million in 2016, respectively.
"The truth is cannabis creates jobs, brings new revenues, fuels education, reduces crime, improves healthcare and creates an opportunity for New Mexico to progress," said Duke Rodriguez, CEO and President of Ultra Health®.
Many industries, including real estate, banking and tourism, would also benefit from cannabis' legalization due to an increased pool of investment and visitors from states without legalized cannabis such as Texas and Oklahoma.
"Legalizing cannabis for adult use is an opportunity to grow New Mexico, keeping us true to our values and the things we care most about: the wellbeing of our children, community health, and the future of our state," said Emily Kaltenbach, the State Director of Drug Policy Alliance.
Marissa Novel 480-404-6699
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SOURCE Ultra Health