Marijuana Shop Brings An Influx Of Green To A Small Town In Washington
One of the most convincing arguments for legalizing marijuana in the U.S. has been the potential revenue for local governments.
By regulating marijuana trade, states stand to increase their tax revenues significantly, allowing lawmakers to spend more on the public programs that voters are craving.
North Bonneville, Washington is putting that theory to the test by becoming the first ever U.S. town to open its own recreational marijuana store.
Over the weekend, Cannabis Corner opened its doors in hopes of helping to alleviate the town's near $60,000 budget shortfall. Private loans worth $280,000 helped Cannabis Corner begin its operations, and its first year is expected to generate $3.5 million worth of revenue.
Officials say most of those dollars will be used to repay loans in the first year, but around $100,000 is expected to make its way to the local government.
Mayor Buys Pot
In order to draw attention to the grand opening, North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens was the shop's first customer. Stevens bought four different one-gram packages of marijuana and said he used the drug to help him relax in the evenings.
Funding City Projects
Profits from Cannabis Corner are earmarked for a special fund that a five person board will oversee. City projects ranging from turning on street lights to improving city parks to expanding animal control agencies can be funded using the marijuana store's revenue upon approval from the board members.
Being the first of its kind, the store is likely to face some growing pains, but Stevens says it will provide a much needed financial boost for his town and could become a widely used model for cash-strapped towns in other states where marijuana is legal.
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