A groundbreaking and historic stride forward was made in the world of state-legal cannabis programs last week, when a bill was passed that would prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state policies related to marijuana consumption, be it for medicinal or recreational purposes. The vote was approved by something of a landslide. With the help of bipartisan support, the final ballot ran 267 – 165.
This is considered a major breakthrough in marijuana policy, and will be of great encouragement to Michigan marijuana business operators. It signals that in the future, matters related to marijuana will be decided at a state level, rather than a federal level. There’ll be no funding provided to the Department of Justice to investigate or prosecute marijuana issues in states that have their own cannabis laws. That’ll mean that if a business is producing and selling marijuana in a state where they are legally allowed to do so, such as Michigan, then the federal government will be unable to legally challenge their right to do so, even if it remains illegal at the national level.
It’s not just that this vote puts the decisions related to marijuana at a state level, either. There are broader implications at hand which show that the future of cannabis will be bright — it’s a sign of how far medical and recreational marijuana has advanced in recent years. This bill offers a snapshot of the advances and the rapid ascent of marijuana at a legal level, too. Just four years ago the same bill was defeated by nine votes; now, it passed without even a hint of defeat.
It’s not just the medical and recreational benefits of marijuana that have brought in support from the plant. The economic benefits are increasingly evident, too. In fact, one of the reasons why this bill received such widespread support from both parties is because the benefits of legal marijuana stretch far beyond the medical and recreational aspects, beyond the actual consumption of the plant.
There are some pretty sound economic figures that do a lot of talking. Indeed, recreational and medical cannabis is something of the boom economy of our times: across the national, marijuana brought in some $52 billion in sales last year, and there was also a 76% increase in jobs, too. And the industry is only expected to grow more in the future, too. While the numbers related to the cultivation and selling of marijuana are encouraging, the numbers associated with policing the plant are much less so — the U.S. spent some $3.6 billion in a ten year period trying to suppress the plant. Sometimes, it’s just pure mathematics that’ll lead to the most obvious conclusion, which is what was reached in the U.S. House of Representatives.
With the latest bill further fortifying marijuana’s position in Michigan and beyond, plus the fact there is so much optimism around the continued economic prowess of the plant, this could be the perfect time for interested parties to look at opening up their own marijuana business.