01-19 | CDAH Team
Post-legalization, November 2016 saw marijuana shops in Colorado cross just over $106 million in sales. The returns from December 2016 are yet to come. The figure is inclusive of both recreational and medical transactions. As per the Colorado Department of Revenue, sales of marijuana and related products translated to $17.7 million worth of state revenue which would go towards drug prevention, school construction and various health programs.
Interestingly, the November 2016 sales of cannabis were about 32 percent higher than the $80.5 million in November 2015 but nearly 10 percent lower from the $117.9 million mark achieved in October 2016. In the summer of 2016, the Colorado marijuana industry saw record sales between July to September 2016 while in October 2016 the retailers had surpassed the $1 billion mark.
According to ArcView Group, a marijuana research firm, marijuana sales in Colorado could reach $2 billion by 2020. While the investment bank Cowen and Company has further estimated that by 2026, the marijuana market could see a climb of $50 billion.
Further, Pueblo County in Denver has also become the top wholesaling county in the state. As per County Commissioner Sal Pace, the county’s 2 percent excise tax on cannabis cultivation is expected to bring in more than $1 million in 2017. On the other hand, Denver has collected about $80 million in taxes, licenses and fees since pot became legal in the state.
In 2000, the voters approved the Colorado Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative that authorized legal use of medical marijuana. Under this initiative, a patient can possess up to two ounces of medical marijuana and a patient or his/her caregiver can grow up to six marijuana plants.
In 2012, Colorado voted in support of Amendment 64 that aimed at legalizing marijuana use for recreational purposes. The Amendment allowed adults aged 21 years and above to grow up to six pot plants in their homes but possess only one ounce for personal use. Although the initiative allowed consumption of marijuana on private property, it prohibited marijuana use in public places.
The advocates and local government leaders are keeping a close eye on Washington, D.C. to get some clue pertaining to the future of Colorado’s billion-dollar marijuana industry. During his campaign, President-elect Trump had supported medical marijuana and legalization but took a different stance at the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2015. While marijuana remains legal in Colorado, Trump’s attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, an ardent opponent of marijuana legalization, could reverse that policy.
Although state legalization intends to utilize the tax money in improving public health, the black market is still thriving on illegal marijuana sales. Once the laws enter the black market, the state is likely to earn more revenue that could be utilized in public interest.
If you know someone who is addicted to marijuana or any other substance, contact the Colorado Drug Addiction Helpline to know about some of the finest drug rehabilitation centers in Colorado. Call our 24/7 helpline 866-218-7546 or chat online with our experts to get details about the top drug addiction treatment centers in Colorado that provide state-of-the-art facilities for recovery.