The U.S. state of Colorado has officially made over 1 billion dollars in legal marijuana sales this year since the state-legalization of pot in 2014. By late May to early June, total marijuana sales are expected to reach over $6 billion due to the rapid growth sales in pot among adults in Colorado.
The Road to Achieving a Multibillion-Dollar Industry
Cannabis was officially legalized in Colorado in 2014. Statistical data illustrated a total state revenue of $3.5 million in legal marijuana sales during its first month. As the years progressed, legal pot consumers were starting to build momentum for the pot industry. Three and a half years later, or in July of 2017, Colorado earned about half a billion dollars from legal marijuana sales. At the same year, the monthly tax on pot didn’t decrease to less than $20 million as well.
After two more years, the pot industry of Colorado had earned its second half of $1 billion. Reaching about $24.2 million in April of this year, it was the state’s highest monthly revenue in legal marijuana sales. It took roughly five years for the pot industry of Colorado to accomplish a multibillion-dollar empire.
In a statement that was emailed to CNBC, it specified the factors that contributed to the success of the pot industry in Colorado:
- “Establishing retail edible serving sizes to encourage responsible adult consumption.”
- “A focus on production management that monitors marijuana supply and demand rather than capping overall state licenses.”
- “Prioritizing data collection and analysis from its seed-to-sale marijuana inventory tracking systems to keep the public informed.”
“It’s going very well. It’s creating tens of thousands of jobs, tax revenue for the state, filling up buildings for landlords, and reducing crime. Although, I like to tell my peer governors in other states ‘It’s not going well, don’t do it.’ There is obviously more advantage to us when we are all a little more special, and obviously more and more states are moving in this direction.” Colorado Governor Jared Polis expressed his take on marijuana sales in other U.S. states to CNBC reporters.
Growing Competition among American States in the Pot Industry
Despite the subsequent legalization of pot by other U.S. states, Gov. Polis feels optimistic about the stability and consistent growth of legal marijuana sales in Colorado. “We are always going to be relatively small potatoes on the actual sales. We are just not going to be as big as states like California or New Jersey. We want to make sure that ten years from now, point-of-sales systems, chemistry, genetics – all those pieces – are housed here in Colorado with successful companies that power a multibillion national industry.”
Colorado aims to develop a wider system that is more economical for the state and to rely less on tax revenue on legal pot sales. Around 2,917 cannabis businesses and 41,046 people have been licensed to work in the pot industry and sell legal marijuana. At least thirty U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
Among the states which legalized marijuana include Illinois, Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, California, Colorado, Alaska, and Washington. U.S. state Illinois has recently joined the bandwagon and officially open for business in 2020. Legal marijuana in Vermont is prohibited from being sold commercially. The state is working on improving its regulations on pot and remove the prohibition as soon as possible. Other U.S. states, including New Jersey and New York, are also working on developing effective measures and policies before legalizing marijuana.
Along with Vermont, Illinois has gone with the legal proceedings of marijuana through the state legislature instead of the ballot. State Gov. J.B. Pritzker introduced the initiative to aid with the state revenue, which has recently been experiencing a crisis. About $170 million will be allotted for the pot industry in Illinois next year.
Not every state has benefited from the legalization of marijuana. California has been playing-of-war with the black market in marijuana sales. Another problem that the state is facing is the lack of support from banks and tax increase. As an intervention, the state Senate approved the authorization of banks for cannabis and possibly gain more support and access services from the bank.