Marijuana Consumption and Alcohol
According to reports, medical-marijuana industry is estimated to be worth
nearly $1.7 billion as of 2011 and the current prohibition on marijuana
consumption exactly parallels the 1920s alcohol prohibition. Each year, a widely
consumed illegal substance makes potential criminals of millions and actual
criminals of hundreds of thousands. Like booze during Prohibition, marijuana is
easy revenue of organized crime, contributing tens of billions of dollars to
growers, who commit a variety of bad acts both at home and abroad. According to
recent figures, U.S. consumers numbering up to 60 million - depending on
truthfulness of surveyed respondents - and at an average cost of $5 per
cigarette, factoring in one per day for each user, total spending on marijuana
may add up to $45 billion to $110 billion a year. The government looks to be
passing up a whole lot of tax revenue, just like they did with alcohol
prohibition. We learned from Canada that the production cost of
government-sponsored marijuana is roughly 33¢ a gram. Currently, U.S. marijuana
consumers pay at least $10 per gram retail for illegal marijuana. If the cost of
retailing and distribution is the same as for legal tobacco cigarettes, about
10¢ a gram, then selling the then-legal marijuana at exactly the same price as
on the street today $10 per gram could raise $40 billion to $100 billion in new
tax revenue. Per Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis
Industry Association, Colorado medical-marijuana sales exceeded $181 million in
2010 and employed 4,200 state-licensed workers. The National Cannabis Industry
Association is a nonprofit trade group that campaigns for marijuana’s federal
legalization. In addition to profiting from growing and selling marijuana, the
Cannabis industry benefits numerous other businesses such as
agricultural-equipment firms, insurers and lawyers. Although federal law
prohibits the sale or possession of marijuana, the following states allow the
sale and use of marijuana with certain limits that may vary state to state:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine,
Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode
Island, Vermont, Washington and Washington DC.
Home Depot Inc. (HD) - the world’s largest home-improvement retailer - reported
a better-than-expected fiscal Q3 profit Tuesday and raised its outlook for the
year, sending a positive signal for the housing market. Florida and California,
both of which were among the states hardest hit by the housing downturn, were
reported by HD as showing continued improvements which indicates an upbeat
housing market indicator. “We believe the U.S. is still working through the
issues associated with the housing crisis,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said
during a Tuesday conference call, adding that national numbers also show housing
has regained its status as a positive contributor to U.S. economic growth.
“Credit availability remains a major issue, but we can start to see the housing
market as an assist to our growth rather than an anchor,” he said. “We are
starting to see the recovery of the housing market. The harder-hit areas that
were really the epicenter of the housing crisis appear to be on the mend, and
it’s been constructive, and it’s been consistent.” Positive same-store sales
were reported by 33 of Home Depot's top 40 markets. HD northeastern region was
reported to having negative sales. The number of customer transactions rose
1.7%, while the average transaction amount rose 2.9% to $54.55, marking a sixth
straight quarter of transaction and ticket growth. Customer transactions under
$50, represented approximately 20% of Home Depot’s U.S. sales while transactions
exceeding $900 represented nearly one-fifth of U.S. sales. Blake said the
company’s windows business, which was hit hard during the economic downturn, has
recently seen a return to growth. Internationally, HD made the decision to shut
its seven stores in China and exit that market, saw positive comparable-store
sales in Mexico and Canada.
Late Monday, Microsoft (MSFT) announced Steven Sinofsky, head of the company’s
flagship Windows business who just oversaw the most ambitious update to the
operating system in years, was leaving the firm. No reason was stated for
Sinofsky's departure. In an internal memo Sinofsky reportedly said he decided to
leave the company after 23 years “to seek new opportunities that build on these
experiences.” Microsoft named two executives Tami Reller and Julie Larson-Green
to lead the Windows business and report to Chief Executive Officer Steve
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Nov 13, 2012