Colorado’s Billion Dollar Marijuana Industry

Legal marijuana is officially a billion-dollar industry in the state of Colorado. It has reached the Billion dollar mark in historic fashion, making 2017 the fastest year of growth for the blooming (pun-intended) business.

This year (2017), Colorado blazed the $1 billion dollar mark like a pack of zig-zags, that’s $1 billion in recreational and medical marijuana sales in just 8 months; back in 2016, it took the industry 10 months to achieve the same results. According to a local Colorado Dispensary, there has been a consistent increase in sales over the years since legalization passed in the state.

Colorado’s marijuana retailers collectively logged upwards of $1.02 billion from a combination of medical and recreational marijuana sales through to the month of August, as estimated by industry insiders.

Currently, the year-to-date sales are up more than 21% than they were in the first eight months of last year (2016) when both recreational and medical marijuana sales in Colorado totaled over $845 million dollars in sales.

This year’s marijuana sales for medical and recreational use now equate to more than $160 million in taxes and fees for the state of Colorado.

Also to be noted, during the month of August, sales of buds, edibles, concentrates, and various accessories were near $137 million. There were over $100 million in sales from recreational cannabis and over $36 million in sales from medical marijuana as noted by multiple sources close to industry insiders in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Revenue issued it’s latest report on marijuana taxes, licenses, and fees remitted in September. Those receipts that were submitted mostly show an increase in sales for the month of August but could vary plus/minus because of incomplete or late returns submitted from vendors for the months prior to August.

The marijuana industries monthly tax data now comes with some additional requirements. It’s the second full month for Colorado dispensaries that marijuana sales have been subject to recently modified taxing structures, and the reports reflect a “period of transition,” according to industry officials.

The special sales tax rate for recreational marijuana recently increased to a ridiculous 15% from 10% sales tax in July, this comes as the result of a newly passed law that began to exempted recreational marijuana products/supplies from the 2.9% standard state sales tax. Medical marijuana and accessories are still subject to that 2.9% sales tax rate.

There are Economic specialists that have projected that the annual increase of growth for Colorado’s marijuana industry will soon begin to settle as we will witness local trends begin to settle and as other states begin to adopt recreational and medical marijuana we may begin to see the cannabis driven tourist era slow down as well.

Crime Rate And Safety:

In Colorado, marijuana arrests dropped by nearly half from 2012 to 2014. Marijuana possession charges in Washington state fell by a more striking 98 percent between 2012 and 2013. Alaska, Oregon, and D.C. show similar declines.

From a criminal justice perspective, that is a considerable development. A report out yesterday by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch found that in a given year, American governments typically arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined.

From the next year of legalization, marijuana tax revenues exceeded projections in both Colorado and Washington. In the most recent financial years, recreational marijuana earned $129 million in earnings in Colorado and $220 million in Washington.

In regards to crime, law enforcement is no longer arresting and prosecuting people for possession and other small-time marijuana offenses, the states that have legalized it are saving hundreds of millions of dollars. The Drug Policy Alliance also wrote that citing the $200 million spent on marijuana enforcement in Washington state between 2000 and 2010 this trend is clearly saving taxpayers dollars.

In regards to safety, there are reports that in Colorado and Washington the post-legalization traffic fatality rate has continued to remain consistent with pre-legalization amounts, as indicated by data-driven flow charts. It actually has reduced in every state than it had been in the decade before and is now lower than the national rate currently is,” the DPA wrote, referencing national traffic data through the year 2014.

The rate of adult emergency department visits for marijuana usage also increased after legalization. This was largely attributable to more emergency department visits from tourists who had arrived at the nation and had a negative experience with marijuana.

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