Colorado’s legal marijuana market increased its sales by over 42% last year compared to 2014, bringing in almost $1 billion. The rate of expansion of the industry in Colorado, as well as the rest of the USA is almost hard to keep up with. The cannabis industry is turning into one of the most lucrative businesses for states around the USA.
The amount of money that this booming industry is bringing into the state is becoming the financial basis for a range of programs that put back into the community. Colorado’s example of a successful cannabis industry is creating a perfect role model for other states to follow.
It is the Denver Post’s calculations of tax data that were just released that are bringing in the figure of $999.2 million in sales, just a hairline off $1 billion. The number is an incredible success given 2014’s figure of $699 million. The marijuana industry in Colorado has grown over 40% in the short span of one year, so there’s no telling just how big it could get in the future.
To give an indication of tax revenue for the state, last year Colorado’s state government raked in $135 million. In 2014, that number was 78% lower at $76 million. Of the $135 million that the state collected last year, it is estimated that around $35 million will go towards school funding, in particular the construction of schools. This was a condition of recreational pot sales in Colorado. In the past, there have been other projects that the state has funded from marijuana sales, and they include programs for those who are battling with substance abuse.
Growing marijuana is not just about growing plants, it is about growing industry, too. Colorado is one of the four states that has legalized recreational marijuana, but states that are on the cusp are showing success in the medical marijuana business, too. California could be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana this year, but to give an idea of the size of their market, they are bringing in almost as much just on medical marijuana sales. Their estimate for 2015 is at $1 billion just for the sale of medical marijuana, and the potential for when recreational marijuana becomes legal is enormous.
If the states that have already made the decision to legalize are any example to go by, the marijuana industry should literally continue to flower for the USA. The revenue being brought in by this industry at the rate it is being brought in at is catching everybody by surprise.
The system by which Colorado regulates and taxes its weed has been its biggest asset according to marijuana activists. Because of the efficacy of its regulation, there has been few hurdles to overcome in terms of the financial success of the business.
Mason Tvert, an advocate for the Marijuana Policy Project says, “The additional tax revenue far exceeds the cost of regulating the system. Regulating and taxing marijuana has been incredibly successful in Colorado, and it represents a model for other states to follow.”
Colorado is the perfect example of how a successful marijuana industry takes the sales out of the black market and into the legal trade. This means everybody wins, leaving the people free to smoke their favorite herb and the rest of the community free to reap the rewards.
Let us know your thoughts on our social media page or in the comments section below.