There has been a lot of talk about where taxes should go from the sale of cannabis in Las Vegas and the surrounding Clark County area. It is not just tax revenue from cannabis sales either, Clark County receives money from issuing dispensary licenses as well. The county has financially benefited from the legalization of both medical and adult-use marijuana and the best uses of those funds continues to be a major point of discussion. Clark County Commissioners recently made a major decision to help the homeless population in Clark County with almost $2 million of the money the county has received from licensing dispensaries being used to put together more beds for homeless youth and those struggling from medical problems after being released from local hospitals.
It has long been argued that the legalization of cannabis could be an economic boon to the people, towns, cities and states that voted to end prohibition. Clark County may be the best example of just how much of a financial benefit legalization can be. While Washington, California, Oregon and Colorado all pulled in more tax revenue than Nevada from the sale of cannabis in 2018, they also have much larger populations than Nevada.
- Nevada population – 3.1 million
- Oregon population – 4.2 million
- Colorado population – 5.7 million
- Washington population – 7.6 million
- California population – 40 million
California made $345 million in taxes from cannabis sales in 2018 versus the nearly $70 million made by Nevada. The difference is that Nevada’s cannabis sales are very concentrated to Clark County due to the tourist draw of Las Vegas. While it is challenging to find data on which counties are pulling in the most legal cannabis sales nationwide, it is reasonable to surmise that Clark County is near the top, if not at the very top. As tourists become more comfortable with the Las Vegas cannabis scene, it is also reasonable to believe that year-over-year cannabis sales will continue to climb for the people of Clark County. The discussion though is what to do with the funds.
Nevada lawmakers initially focused on putting revenue from the sale of cannabis into the state’s rainy day fund, and continue to. Earlier this year Clark County elected to earmark about $9.7 million of the money generated from licensing fees to combat the homeless issues of Clark County. The Clark County Commissioners’ decision to allocate $1.8 million of that money for HELP of Southern Nevada is a major direct benefit the people of Clark County are seeing. According to their site, the non-profit group called HELP of Southern Nevada became incorporated in 1970 to serve the poor, homeless and those in crisis. $855,000 of the funds will go towards 76 beds at the Shannon West Youth Homeless Center and $930,000 will maintain 60 beds for people just released from local hospitals as a part of HELP’s rapid rehousing program.
Huge positive impacts from cannabis legalization like this is what will continue to set apart Nevada’s cannabis market from the rest of the nation. Lawmakers and cannabis business owners continuously regard Nevada as the gold standard for the cannabis industry. If funds continue to roll in and Nevada can show how cannabis is bettering everyone’s life, then the rest of the country should see why ending prohibition is essential. Here at Digipath Labs, we continue to make sure that all cannabis that comes through our doors is clean of toxins and that consumers are clear on THC to CBD ratios. Consumers will keep coming back to Las Vegas dispensaries as long as they know they will find only the best cannabis products in the entire country here. Reputation is everything in this current digital era. One false step can give opponents more than enough to argue against the merits of legalized cannabis. Here at Digipath Labs we are proud to be playing our role in furthering the business of cannabis in Clark County and maintaining it impeccable reputation.
There are roughly 6,000 homeless people in Southern Nevada with more than a 1,000 of those people under the age of 25. If cannabis sales can help reduce the amount of people living on the street then that alone validates the merits of cannabis legalization. It will be interesting to see how Clark County elects to use the remaining $8 million or so it has set aside to help the homeless population. In the meantime, Nevada will continue to rake in cannabis tax and licensing revenue and use it to better the lives of everyone in the state. Undoubtedly Clark County Commissioners will continue to use these funds for the betterment of everyone in the county.