Wednesday Trailblazer Tax Revenue

Revenue Trailblazer

U.S. stocks were quiet today after yesterday’s rally. Remember, Monday is a market holiday so it would not be surprising to see participation thinning into the weekend. The S&P 500 closed near unchanged with a tiny decline of 0.03% to 2,068.

Cannabis markets continue to trade with uncertainty. Like a listless boat in an open ocean, the cannabis stocks lack direction, mostly driven by worthless companies consuming investor capital and mindshare.

Daily Positive: 2015 is the year to “sow the seed” and start looking more seriously at the wonderful opportunities in hemp, the plant. Hemp history week will be later this year. Mark your calendars and start planning for your way to participate in history!

Daily Negative: The cannabis markets don’t seem to react about news that actually has substance. Today, our colleagues at MJINews wrote an interesting article about Surna (OTCQB: SRNA) and the efficiency they are offering to the industry. The market slept through this coverage.

Colorado brought in $44 million in tax revenue last year from the cannabis industry. Now, we have heard some complaints that the taxes coming from cannabis were “disappointing” or less than anticipated. However, we see this $44 million as a great coup for the industry. It is many millions more than other states without legal cannabis are seeing.

This revenue can be put to work for many programs that have been suffering (education, substance abuse, etc.) and will help to improve society. Additionally, what this number hasn’t accounted for is the tax dollars that used to be spent on needlessly incarcerating people for cannabis. Nor has it accounted for the unemployment that is not being paid to people who are now employed by the booming cannabis industry.

Colorado has been the trailblazer and has graciously allowed the country to observe and learn from its foray into this area. What we are learning is that when taxes are too high (such as in Washington state) it can help to continue fueling the black market. However, a “fair” tax structure can help fund government programs and improve society overall. So yes, it might have been less than what they had actually “guesstimated” to start, but in the end, the state is more in the black than others. This can only suggest what a true boon this could be for larger and more economically troubled states such as California.

In short, it is better not to criticize or take shame in these numbers, rather it is critical to see it as a learning point for the next states that are building recreational marijuana programs.


The discussion above is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer of, or solicitation for, any investment services or products offered by the author. The author is not making any investment recommendations and the opinions above do not constitute investment advice. Reference to above indices [and companies] is based on information provided by sources the author believes to be credible. Investing in the cannabis industry, as with other industries, presents certain risks including the risk of loss on an investment.

Morgan is a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Poseidon Asset Management. He is the Chief Investor of their Cannabis Focused Fund. Morgan previously worked for a privately owned Registered Investment Adviser and earlier was at UBS Financial Services focusing on wealth management. Morgan believes in the potential of the cannabis industry and likes having an active involvement as it develops. You can follow him on Twitter @PoseidonAsset.

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