Recent reports show that Colorado has passed the $1 billion mark in total state revenue generated from the legal marijuana industry. Since the drug became legal in 2014, the state has made a total of $6 billion in sales. This past April and May showed record sales in the five-year history of the industry, as the state took in around $24.2 million. Their sales doubled from $500 million to $1 billion in just under two years, and reaching $500 million took around three and a half years. In the past year, their entire monthly tax and fee marijuana revenue has not dropped below $20 million.
Clearly, the legal marijuana industry is thriving in the state of Colorado. Governor Jared Polis even joked he tells other governors not to to legalize it, as being in the minority here obviously gives them an advantage. But more and more states are starting to see the potential benefits and are moving towards following in Colorado’s footsteps.
Recently, Illinois became the 11th state to approve recreational cannabis for adult use. Before that, Washington, Alaska ,Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon Vermont, Michigan, Nevada, and Washington D.C. have all had legal marijuana sales.
Colorado currently has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 people who are licensed to work in the industry. State officials believe many factors have been integral to the success of the business. These include creating retail edible serving sizes to create reasonable adult use, attention to production management that controls marijuana supply and demand, and keeping up with data and analysis from seed-to-sale marijuana inventory.
Colorado is a great example to other states who are considering or have recently made the decision to legalize marijuana, including Puerto Rico. In recent years, Puerto Rico has had financial troubles that could culminate in the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States history. Currently, Puerto Rico is $70 billion in debt, and they are struggling to pay it. The medicinal marijuana industry offers one potential solution to this growing economic problem.
Puerto Rico currently has 77,000 registered patients and it is only expected to grow to 100,000 by the end of the year. The government has granted approximately 80 licenses for dispensaries throughout the island while roughly 40 of them are already opened for business. The projections that have been studied and calculated after the legalization of medicinal cannabis in Puerto Rico following the Act 42-2017 or more commonly known as the “Medicinal Act” reflect that by 2020, all cannabis related activities will have reached $100 million in tax revenue. It is also determined that by the steady growth of the industry, by 2020, all related cannabis programs will have created and employed over 20,000 people.