A Decade Into Legal Cannabis, Americans See Legalization As A Net Positive For Economy And Society

A decade after Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize cannabis for adult-use in the US, following the passage of Amendment 64 and Initiative 502, respectively, the majority of Americans believe cannabis has an overall positive impact on the creation of high-quality jobs – at both the local and national level, economic growth and society. This is according to the results of a new Pollfish poll, which will be released later on Monday.

The poll also found that more than half of cannabis consumers tried “legal cannabis” for the first time in the last year.

Supporting Economic Growth

To conduct the poll, 1,100 Americans aged 21 and older were questioned about their thoughts on cannabis, consumption habits and legalization. Nearly two-thirds of respondents stated that they believe cannabis has an overall positive impact on society, while 61.5% felt cannabis plays an important role in supporting U.S. economic growth. 62.6% also said “The cannabis industry is important for the local economy.”

67.6% of surveyed people also said, “Federal banking restrictions should be lifted so that American cannabis companies can have equal access to banking services.”

National Cannabis Poll

The poll was conducted by independent market-research provider Pollfish on behalf of Jushi Holdings JUSHF (a cannabis company with retail, cultivation and manufacturing operations in several U.S. states) between March 17 and March 30. It was overseen by Julian Scaff, associate professor at ArtCenter College of Design, interaction designer, futurist and Jushi experience director.

Among key findings, the poll revealed high support for legalization across the political spectrum. When people identifying as Democrats (33.4%), Republicans (25.4%), independents (24.0%), “no political affiliation” (12.5%) and other (4.8%) were asked if they were more likely to support pro-legalization candidates, 61% said they were.

The survey also found that three in four Americans feel that the Department of Veterans Affairs should update its rules to allow veterans access to medical cannabis with a doctor’s prescription.

Commenting on the findings, Jushi CEO and founder Jim Cacioppo said, “Since states began legalizing recreational cannabis a decade ago, more Americans continue to enter the legal cannabis market, which has resulted in a noticeable shift in the way they view marijuana and the sector as a whole. The economic, job-growth and societal benefits of a regulated marketplace are clearly resonating with Americans, and as more states implement programs, we believe these trends will only intensify.”

Medical First

On the cannabis consumption front, medical use remained the top reason why people choose to use marijuana.

More than a quarter of non-cannabis users stated that the primary reason they would want to try a cannabis product is for medical use, followed by stress. Edibles were also cited as the number-one cannabis product non-cannabis users would want to try first.

Nearly a third of cannabis users consume one to two days a week, with the majority consuming in the evening.

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This article was originally published on Forbes and appears here with permission.

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