The state of Colorado is making financial headlines this week after crossing the finish line into the billion dollar cannabis revenue club.
Five years after legalizing that weed stuff, the state has generated more than a $1 billion in bud tax revenue. In raw sales, they’ve pulled in more than $6.5 billion and they’ve got to keep a fair chunk of that for themselves.
Revenues have been on the rise too, with CNBC reporting that it took the state three and a half years after legalization to rake in $500 million, but just under two years to make their second half a billion.
The state now makes roughly $24 million a month of cannabis taxes, with April and May of this year being their highest-earning months so far. That’s money that goes toward education, health care, drug prevention programs, mental health services, and a general reserve fund.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis was pretty happy about all that cannabis cash his state gets to roll around in. “It’s going very well,” he said. “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 bit more special, and obviously more and more states are moving in this direction.”
For the moment, Colorado is still kicking California’s ass when it comes to total marijuana money. The Golden State had expected to make a $1 billion in tax revenue in their first year of legal weed, but came up with only about a third of that with $345.2 million.
California is still a youngster when it comes to legal weed, so maybe it should take some pointers from Colorado. In an emailed statement, the state said the secrets to their success include a focus on managing overall supply and demand for the state and prioritizing data accumulation and analysis to keep the public informed.
Photo via Flickr user David Gach