Joining us this morning to discuss the legalization of marijuana in Maryland is Adam Andrzejewski CEO of OpenTheBooks.com.
1. First of all, how big will the industry get in Maryland? What are the projections?
Aggressive industry projections are growth to a $3 billion industry in five years. Maybe too aggressive. Colorado marijuana sales grew to $2 billion in a decade.
Only tax revenues projected at $135 million in the first year for Maryland.
2. In the states that have legalized marijuana for a decade, what has their experience been.
Over the past 10 years, Colorado has seen increases in marijuana-related hospitalizations, Emergency Room visits, poison control calls, DUIs, and fatal crashes where drivers tested positive for cannabinoids.
USAGE: Adult marijuana use increased 94 percent and is 96 percent higher than the national average, currently ranked 4th in the nation. College age marijuana use increased 18 percent and is 48 percent higher than the national average, currently ranked 6th in the nation.
PUBLIC HEALTH: The yearly number of emergency department visits related to marijuana increased 54 percent after the legalization of recreational marijuana (2013 compared to 2017). The yearly number of marijuana-related hospitalizations increased 101 percent after the legalization of recreational marijuana (2013 compared to 2017).
TAX REVENUES: Marijuana tax revenue represent approximately nine-tenths of one percent of Colorado’s FY 2018 budget. 64 percent of local jurisdictions in Colorado have banned medical and recreational marijuana businesses.
3. What you are saying is a big warning. Do you see an upside?
The total number of marijuana arrests decreased by 68% between 2012 and 2019, from 13,225 to 4,290. This was driven by large decreases in possession and sales charges, with a very small (3%) increase in arrests for marijuana production.
4. So it's a balancing test — is the risk worth it?
It's unhealthy for individuals. If you want to get high, start an exercise program -- the endorphins make you feel great.