One thing that must be assessed is the impact of marijuana tourism. Simply put, people often travel to places to take advantage of things that are not available to them in a legal sense where they live. This, in fact, is the entire basis for the city of Las Vegas, which exists almost solely so that people can head there to gamble from places where gambling is not legal. While one could not expect the state of Ohio to become that kind of tourist haven just because it legalized marijuana, one could expect some spike in tourism, which would have an economic benefit beyond simple tax receipts. It would, in effect, be shifting money away from other states and into the coffers of Ohio, which would have a very positive long-term benefit.
In Colorado, one way of assessing the extra tourism is by looking at the change in the number of visitors to ski resorts. According to some reports, the 2013-2014 ski season brought about a 10-percent increase in the number of visitors to ski resorts around the country. This is significant, of course, because Colorado is already an extremely saturated ski market. Simply put, it is difficult to generate growth in that kind of context, but Colorado has managed to do that. Of course, there are many factors that could have potentially driven some of that growth, including the fact that the national economy continues to improve, giving people more money to spend on things like ski trips. However, one has to note the impact of marijuana on drawing people to the state, especially when one considers the anecdotal evidence which suggests that the people coming to these ski resorts are smoking pot when they arrive.
Ohio has some unique constraints when it comes to tourism. Of course, the state does not feature any sort of beaches or ski resorts, which might already be a draw for people. It does, of course, feature a number of different cities, which have professional sports teams and other things that are popular for visitors. It is also a state that has legalized gambling in many venues, which can be a draw for regional visitors who might want to come there. One should not expect Ohio to reap in huge rewards like Colorado in a tourism vein, but the state should stand to benefit from more visitors. Putting an exact figure on that phenomenon is difficult, and it is perhaps true that attempting to be too exact in that regard is an excellent way to find one’s self misled.
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