In California, medical and recreational cannabis legalization has helped patients and potheads alike get their fix without fear of prosecution or having to depend on the black market. In addition to easier access for users, struggling municipalities in the Golden State have used the local green rush to tip municipal budgets back to the black.In fact, the integration of the marijuana industry has already helped save a number of small California towns from the burden of debt.
In Calaveras County, CA a region once known for mining and timber but now home to 45,000 people facing tough economic times, cannabis has been a godsend, with legal weed license fees already alleviating a serious chunk of the county’s deficit.
So far Calaveras County has collected $3.7 million in fees from marijuana growers, and has already started spending this revenue on additional police and other local services. In 2016, 737 local cannabis producers paid a $5,000 fee to apply for a commercial cultivation licensing. Thus far, 89 applicants have been approved, 137 denied, and 478 still under consideration.
However, not all residents are supportive of the cannabis influx in their county, and a…