domenica 30 dicembre 2012
Legalized marijuana set to become a big Colorado industry
Marijuana is poised to make a big splash in Colorado business after the passage of Amendment 64, allowing its legal sale and consumption.
A series of events in 2013 will determine just how big the industry may become.
Before retail stores open, state officials will apply licensing standards and excise-tax rates. Local governments also will decide whether they will impose sales taxes or prohibit retail sales in their jurisdictions.
The industry's financial impact could be significant, based on early projections.
In a fiscal-impact study, the Colorado Center on Law & Policy estimates that legal marijuana sales initially could be as much as $270 million a year. Those sales would produce state and local taxes of $47 million a year, plus savings of $12 million a year in law enforcement costs.
Marijuana tax revenue dedicated to school construction would create an estimated 372 new jobs, according to the study.
Business investment could be slowed by concerns about how, or if, the federal government will enforce the federal prohibition on marijuana.
"That raises potentially serious legal and ethical issues," said Troy Eid, a narcotics-law expert and partner with Greenberg Traurig LLP. "Until Congress acts, business leaders need to be very cautious about investing in Colorado's recreational-marijuana industry."
Employers also will need to deal with the complex legal issue of how to treat workers who violate company policies by smoking legal marijuana while off duty.
Read more: Legalized marijuana set to become a big Colorado industry - The Denver Post