As long as you haven’t been living under a rock for the last five years, you already know that marijuana is big business in Colorado. Just how big is that business compared to other states, you might find yourself asking, and the answer is huge! The state has nearly 3,000 active marijuana related businesses, and this year they surpassed 1 billion dollars in sales across the state in only 10 months. Those kind of numbers are unheard of! 1B being spent from January through October – truly mind boggling. The state did just under 1 billion total in 2015, and to see it increase to over 1B in under 10 months this year shows either a growth in users, or in tourism.
How Does It Compare?
If you compare Colorado to other legal states like Washington, those numbers are on a whole different level. In May 2016, Washington surpassed the 1B mark, but that took almost a full two years to achieve. In Oregon, they only saw about 25.5 million spent this year between January and August, so it is plain to see that Colorado sees way more marijuana sales, and consequently more tax revenue as well.
With the advent of recreational marijuana being legalized in 4 new states this year, Colorado is bracing for a hit – at least on the tourism side of things. When rec shops eventually open their doors in places like San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Boston – the need to travel to Colorado will diminish pretty significantly, and the state is doing everything they can think of to try to maintain a cannabis cultural relevance.
How To Maintain?
The state recently passed Initiative 300, which will allow for public consumption at approved locations – this doesn’t seem to be enough to keep their tourism numbers where they currently stand. We have seen the state incur a 10% decrease in marijuana tourism searches online, and searches in newly legal states skyrocket.
So will Colorado still be raking in over a billion dollars a year once they’re no longer one of the few bastions of legal weed? Sadly enough – we kind of doubt it. Only time will tell how much the industry is hurt, we’re hopeful not jobs will be lost, or businesses that need to close their doors. But for the time being, the state should celebrate how much they’ve done, and all the legal sales that have been made. They are pioneers, and should be recognized for it.
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