Colorado Marijuana Sales Pass $1 Billion Mark
In June, Colorado marijuana sales passed the $1 billion mark since legalization and sales began in 2014, and it’s clear that the industry is only going to continue to grow exponentially. Marijuana revenue supports statewide efforts such as licensing and regulation of legal marijuana businesses, youth prevention efforts, behavioral health treatment, protecting public health and safety, and coordination across state agencies, the department stated in a news release last month.
In Boulder County alone, marijuana sales saw an increase in $1.4 million compared to this time last year, bringing Boulder’s total to $8.7 million. This keeps Boulder County slightly ahead of Adams County.
Gov. Jared Polis stated in the June 12 release about the increase in revenue that, “…[W]e can’t rest on our laurels. We can and we must do better in the face of increased national competition…This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction.”
In 2015, Boulder used some of its $4.83 million marijuana tax windfall to help pay for open space, transportation, and parks and recreation. But the vast majority of the new cash, $3.73 million, went into the city’s general fund. And while marijuana tax revenue seems like it would make a huge difference, experts say that the money received is similar to the amount that comes from the lottery, around 2%–a drop in the bucket compared to other taxed resources. At the same time, 2% is about where the government would like to keep the expenditure, as going higher into 10% territory, though lucrative, would indicate a saturation in the market and may point to higher risks in health and public safety.