According to an announcement from Colorado’s Department of Revenue, the recreational, or adult-use, marijuana industry has generated over $1 billion in tax revenue since legal sales began in the state in 2014.
In the years since recreational weed was legalised in Colorado, license and fee revenue have reportedly reached figures of just above $1.02 billion, with marijuana sales exceeding $6.56 billion to date.
At the time of writing, there are 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses in Colorado, with 41,076 licensed individuals working in the industry. The Department of Revenue has now remarked upon the significant economic benefits of the relatively new and growing industry.
Revenue from Marijuana sales is put towards various government initiatives, including legal marijuana businesses licensing and regulation, youth prevention programmes, behavioural health treatment and public health and safety.
Governor Jared Polis has made the following statement about the future of Colorado’s ‘thriving’ cannabis industry in a press release:
Today’s report continues to show that Colorado’s cannabis industry is thriving, but we can’t rest on our laurels.
We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition. We
want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing
This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction.
As reported by Westword, Colorado’s weed industry has enjoyed an increase in sales volume each year since 2014, with 2019 looking set to be the most profitable year yet.
Director of CDOR’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, Jim Burack, said:
We are committed to facilitating responsible innovation within this dynamic industry through
continued engagement with our diverse group of stakeholders,
Colorado will continue to be known for its regulatory leadership.
Earlier this month, Governor Polis expanded private investment opportunities within Colorado’s weed industry, and introduced bills which legalised marijuana delivery as well as social consumption at licensed businesses.
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Chief Medical Officer, Tista Ghosh, said:
Five years ago, taxes from retail marijuana sales funded the first-ever retail marijuana public education campaign and scientific committee to review the health effects of marijuana as mandated by Colorado voters.
Today, as retail marijuana sales remain steady, our public awareness efforts include community-based youth prevention with more than 50 communities receiving funding to expand local efforts,
Today, more adults know the laws around retail marijuana, more parents are planning to talk to their children about the risks of marijuana use, and most young women know the danger of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Colorado residents voted to legalise cannabis in 2012, leading the way in changing attitudes to the once maligned plant in the US.
A 2018 poll by the Pew Research Center found 62 per cent of Americans – including 74 per cent of millennials – were in support of legalising marijuana.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.