Yet again, Colorado is at the forefront of the cannabis industry. A new milestone has been reached regarding cannabis sales, and it’s rather impressive. In just 10 short months this year, legal cannabis sales have topped $1 billion – only one year after coming just short of the mark. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, through the month of October, marijuana businesses have reported approximately $1.1 billion in legal recreational and medical cannabis sales.
The revenue figure includes all marijuana-related products sold in 2016 and has still yet to include the months of November and December, meaning the record $996 million generated last year will be significantly exceeded.
The milestone not only marks an impressive revenue, but also an inferred acceptance of marijuana businesses and dispensaries throughout the state of Colorado. While there has been some contention and dispute along the way, sales of over a billion dollars in one year can arguably be considered as a generally positive reception by the citizens of Colorado.
On top of the flourishing cannabis businesses and enormous revenue stream, the state is also benefiting heavily from the tax revenue obtained from marijuana businesses. Statistics on tax revenue through October detail over $150 million collected thus far. Cannabis tax revenue is proving to be an important asset to communities across the state by helping to reduce homelessness, bullying and many more communal issues. Even those who disagree with the legality of cannabis are having a hard time disputing the positive societal impacts that result from legal marijuana operations. And it’s safe to say, more money generated by cannabis businesses means more tax revenue given back to the community.
Rapid-Growth & Expansion
According to The Denver Post, the state saw a 42% increase in legal marijuana sales in 2015, a number that will surely continue to rise. Although a Donald Trump presidency creates uncertainty for the future of cannabis, it is safe to say that a titan of industry such as him would recognize an effective and lucrative revenue stream. Trump’s appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a bit more unpredictable though, having gone on record against marijuana several times. Either way, the proverbial marijuana train is arguably unstoppable. An accredited cannabis research company, ArcView Group, has estimated that legal marijuana could reach roughly $22 billion by 2020. Whether you’re pro-pot or not, those numbers are undeniable; especially with more and more states reaching legalization.
Moving Towards the Future
It’s safe to say that the cannabis industry has made its mark on capitalism, and has done quite well in the preliminary years of operation. The current growth rate of the industry and businesses that operate within it is seemingly unstoppable, and more and more investors are hustling to get in on the ground floor. In an industry with limitless possibility, the only place to go is up. Cannabis has the opportunity to become a powerhouse in the American economy and will continue to rise with the support of passionate people and industry professionals. Colorado’s first billion-dollar cannabis year certainly marks an impressive milestone, leaving many eagerly waiting for what’s to come.
What are your thoughts on Colorado reaching $1 billion in sales? How do you see the industry moving forward as a whole?