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June 23, 2017

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EDITORIAL:

How much would legal pot do for Nevada’s economy? Take a look

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L.E. Baskow

Sen. Tick Segerblom speaks regarding the report being released by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) on the Economic & Fiscal Benefits Analysis of legalization at The Law Offices of Ashcraft & Barr on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.

By legalizing recreational marijuana, Nevada voters would spark $7.5 billion in economic activity in the first seven years of sales.

That’s the biggest number in an extensive report released this week by RCG Economics and the Marijuana Policy Group, but it’s not the only eye-popping figure.

With voters poised to decide a ballot measure on the issue in November, here’s a by-the-numbers look into some of the researchers’ other findings and projections:

• $1.7 billion: Total wages and business owner income that would be generated in the first seven years after legalization.

• $464 million: Total tax revenue that would be generated in the first seven years after legalization. That breaks down to $257.4 million in sales and use tax, $147.1 million in excise tax, $47.2 million in license fees, $3.5 million in application fees, $521,000 in Nevada Commerce Tax and $8.3 million in payroll tax.

• 40,975: Total number of full-time jobs that would be added to the economy in the first seven years after legalization.

• 6,200: By 2024, the number of jobs that would be supported per year by regulation of the drug.

• $1.1 billion: Also by 2024, the annual economic activity related to regulation.

• $224.2 million: Estimated amount that Clark County visitors would spend on marijuana in 2018. That’s based on a price of $11 per gram, $2 more per gram than the projected price that locals would pay. As with most goods and services, marijuana would be more expensive on (or near) the Strip. The equation also is based on statistics-based projections on the number of annual visitors who would use marijuana (6.1 million), the average duration of their stay (3.4 nights) and their average daily consumption (0.98 grams).

• 53.5 million: Projected number of Clark County visitors in 2033. In 2015, Las Vegas drew 42.3 million.

The report will serve as a centerpiece of efforts by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a coalition of 30 state and local leaders who said legalization would also benefit Nevada by eliminating the black market and steering money away from criminal dealers. In addition, proponents of the ballot measure say it will close the books on decades of drug policies that resulted in billions of dollars being misspent to catch, prosecute and jail nonviolent recreational marijuana users.

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