From the sales of cannabis to clean energy, Colorado is leading the United States that is set to continue, if the federal government doesn’t intervene. The current state Governor, John Hickenlooper, says the booming economy is the result of efforts to make the Centennial State more “pro-business,” adding that Colorado has “one of the lowest business income tax levels at just a little over 4.6 percent.”
In an interview with CNBC’s On The Money, Governor Hickenlooper stated that, more than anything, state officials wanted Colorado to think of itself as a place not just for outdoor recreation, but a place to go and start a business.
The state is proving that it is green in more ways than one, with the governor saying one of the growing industries in Colorado is clean energy.
We have over 2,000 companies that do either renewable energy or clean tech.
While the national unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 percent in May, the lowest since 2001, Colorado’s jobless rate is the nation’s lowest at 2.3 percent.
Even though Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, Hickenlooper was actually opposed to the measure, but it still passed by a 55 percent to 45 percent vote.
And with the industry going from strength to strength, it saw the state taking in $198.5 million in tax revenue from legal weed sales of $1.3 billion, which is up from the $699.2 million in sales in 2014 and $996.2 million in 2015 sales.
But the governor stressed the need to keep the size of the cannabis industry in perspective, saying that there is a $28 billion state budget overall, and “$200 million is just a drop in the bucket there.”
The governor also said that it’s “too soon to know” if there’s a downside to the legalization.
We don’t see more people doing more marijuana in Colorado after legalization. It’s through a regulated process now. But we haven’t seen a big spike in teenage consumption, we haven’t seen a big spike in any consumption.