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Economic Impact of Legal Marijuana


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Here is an article that reports legal marijuana growers are using a great deal of electricity in Colorado following the vote to legalize marijuana. It focuses on the negative impact this is having on pollution, but spending lots of money on electricity indicates that they are also employing people and providing medical and recreational benefits to their consumers. Producers are buying warehouse space, special lighting and growing equipment, greenhouses, etc. in order to serve the high demand for legal marijuana.

Even if overall quantity demanded increases, the total spending on marijuana by Coloradans is expected to fall due to much lower prices, meaning that many households will have more money left over for purchases of other goods or savings.

Faced with daunting energy bills, Kocer and his business have expanded their growing operation to include an 18,000 square foot greenhouse, which will primarily use solar power as opposed to artificial lights. “Our goal here is to lower our costs as much as possible to pass it on to our patients,” said Kocer. He said his new greenhouse will only use about 6 percent of the energy required to grow the same amount of marijuana indoors. In Boulder, one grower is experimenting with new lighting systems that use about five times less power than standard lighting systems. The new system is manufactured by iGrow Induction Lighting from Cleveland, Ohio.

Mark Thornton is a Senior Fellow at the Mises Institute and the book review editor of the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics. He has authored seven books and is a frequent guest on national radio shows.

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