Retail Industry Should Support Legalization of Marijuana, According to RetailWire Poll

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From a purely practical standpoint, many are now convinced that legalizing marijuana in the U.S. would be of great benefit to the economy, particularly to retail businesses, and would alleviate other societal problems and injustices. An online poll conducted on, a forum for retail industry professionals, addressed the matter head-on.

"Retail-ize It!"

In a recent online survey of's membership of retailing professionals, over two-thirds (69 percent) came out in favor of the retail industry supporting the legalization of marijuana. Only 21 percent were firmly opposed.

The online poll and subsequent discussion were prompted by news that Professor Milton Friedman is among 500 economists who have publicly endorsed a Harvard University report, The Budgetary Implications of Marijuana Prohibition, that says legalizing pot would save states and the federal government $7.7 billion a year while bringing in between $2.4 billion and $6.2 billion in additional tax revenues annually, depending on the rate of the levy.

The enthusiasm of poll respondents, however, was tempered by commentary submitted by retailing experts from RetailWire's BrainTrust panel, including industry consulant James Tenser, Principal of VSN Strategies: "Speaking hypothetically, marijuana might prove to be a profitable line for retailers. And it seems righteous to stop incarcerating young people for simple possession at a high cost to taxpayers. But I wouldn't advocate that retailers take an active pro-pot stance. Most have been backing away from tobacco sales due mainly to health concerns. Pot risks are similar. And considering the present quality of the retail workforce - what kind of labor pool would chain retailers have to draw from if pot were actually legal?"

See the full story: "Economists Call Current Pot Laws Dopey" ... plus the accompanying Instant Poll and commentary from the RetailWire BrainTrust panel:

(Free registration required)

RetailWire editor-in-chief George Anderson has recently been featured on CBS Marketwatch radio and NPR. He is available for interviews and commentary:

George Anderson



RetailWire is a unique online news analysis and discussion forum, which launched in February 2002. RetailWire goes beyond conventional headline news reporting. Each business morning, RetailWire editors pick news topics worthy of commentary by its "BrainTrust" panel of industry experts, and the general RetailWire membership. The results are virtual round tables of industry opinion and advice covering key dynamics and issues affecting the retailing industry.

Membership to RetailWire is free to all qualified retail industry professionals. Over two-thirds of members are in top executive or senior management positions, representing a broad cross section of retail channels and the companies that supply them.

RetailWire is supported via sponsorships by leading retail suppliers and service organizations. Sponsorship packages take the form of information-rich "Business TIPS." Current sponsors include Campbell Soup, ACNielsen, Unilever HPC, Hershey's, Nestlé Purina, DemandTec, Interactive Edge and Concept Shopping.

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Rick Moss


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