What is the economic impact of adult use cannabis? In many U.S. states, that is a difficult question to answer. Hoping to divine the answer, the Nevada Dispensary Association (NDA), which represents approximately 80% of cannabis dispensaries in the state of Nevada, commissioned a report by RCG Economics to find out; and the results were surprising.
To fully ascertain the scope of the cannabis industry’s economic effect on Nevada’s economy, RCG implemented several strategies. To start, RCG electronically sent out a survey to NDA members; requesting information such as tax collections, gross sales, wages, benefits, and employment.
Next, RCG ran an economic benefits analysis (EBA) and compared the data to existing figures. An EBA typically involves analyzing direct benefits, indirect benefits, and induced benefits. Finally, RCG prepared a fiscal benefits analysis, which examined statistics such as state-level excises taxes, retail sales taxes, and the payroll tax.
After collating the data, RCG found that legalized cannabis will have a tremendous effect on the Nevadan economy.
Currently, adult use cannabis sales account for 63% of all cannabis sales in the states, while medical makes up the remaining 37%. Between 2018 and 2024, the state’s adult use cannabis industry is expected to generate an estimated $8 billion of economic activity.
Additionally, the industry is expected to support approximately 67,000 jobs in the same period. Cannabis regulations are also forecasted generate roughly $3.6 billion in direct, indirect, and induced labor income.
Direct spending in the cannabis industry is also projected during this period to have a multiplier effect of 1.63; which means that for every $1 spent on retail cannabis, another $0.63 will be generated throughout the state economy.
The retail cannabis industry is expected to produce approximately $989.7 million of total output activity in 2018 alone; representing roughly $60.7 million in sales. By 2024, that total is expected to rise to approximately $1.2 billion. Similarly, the industry is projected to support around 8,300 jobs in 2018, but by 2024 that number is expected to grow to 10,200.
Between 2018 and 2024, Nevada’s cannabis industry could potentially create roughly $1 billion in fiscal benefits for the state. The largest chunk of that figure is from sales and use tax accounts, which is projected to generate $349.4 million. The second largest contributor is the retail excise tax ($336.2 million) and the wholesale excise tax ($212.3 million).
For 2018, the industry is expected to generate approximately $113.1 million in fiscal benefits. By 2024, that number is expected to swell to $158.7 million annually.
RCG is quick to point out that these figures are only estimations based upon the available data and may change depending on outside economic factors. However, external economic factors or not, one thing is clear for the report, and that is that the legal cannabis industry will have a tremendous impact on the state of Nevada’s economy in the coming years.