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Marijuana Sales Top $1 Billion in Colorado, Washington Combined

Marijuana Sales Top $1 Billion in Colorado, Washington Combined

Colorado earned $200 million in tax revenue.

Colorado and Washington, two states that sell marijuana legally, enjoyed hefty sales on the drug in 2016.

Colorado sold more than $1.3 billion worth of marijuana and marijuana products while Washington saw $972 million during its 2016 fiscal year.

The legal sales meant more tax revenue for the states, which brought in $200 million for Colorado.

From Market Watch:

“This money is just the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for the 42 states that still choose to force marijuana sales into the criminal market and forego millions of dollars in tax revenue,” said Mason Tvert, the Marijuana Policy Project’s Denver-based communications director, in a statement. “The state received nearly $200 million in marijuana tax revenue, whereas just a decade ago it was receiving zero.”

Overall, U.S. marijuana sales grew 30% in 2016, according to data from Arcview Market Research. And using research from cannabis business intelligence and market research firm BDS Analytics, Arcview forecasts cannabis sales will grow at a compound rate of 25%, from $6.7 billion in 2016 to $20.2 billion by 2021.

The Hill reported that the sales also show “evidence of boom times.” Denver hosted a trade show in 2016 that “attracted two thousand vendors and exhibitors.”

California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada legalized recreational marijuana use during the November elections. Alaska, D.C., and Oregon legalized it in 2014. New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont have brought the issue to their respected legislatures during this session.

But all the states have begun to worry since Jeff Sessions has officially taken over as attorney general. As senator, Sessions never kept it a secret his love for the war on drugs:

Sessions is on record in the past saying that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and that “marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized” and that it is “a very real danger.”

President Barack Obama allowed leeway during his administration, even though the federal government kept marijuana a Schedule 1 drug under the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Those in Colorado fear retaliation from President Donald Trump and Sessions:

“I absolutely believe that the dismantling of cannabis in Colorado would cause a recession,” said Kristi Kelly, the Executive Director of the Marijuana Industry Group.

She says that Colorado has implemented a successful program that other states are modeling, and that any disruptions in the industry would be catastrophic.

“The economics of this are huge in Colorado,” Kelly said. “There is a billion-dollar economic impact in Colorado, which is directly attributable or affiliated with the cannabis industry, so that equates to 20,000 people licensed in trade.”

She says that the cannabis tourism in Colorado and extra taxes have added to Colorado’s boom in recent years and undermined the black market for marijuana.


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This goes a long way toward explaining the recent 9th circuit ruling.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | February 11, 2017 at 5:43 pm

Interesting, and an interesting juxtaposition there Mary.

RE: “Sessions is on record in the past saying that “Good people don’t smoke marijuana” and that “marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized” and that it is “a very real danger.

President Barack Obama…”

The surrounding states can provide Sessions with evidence of the down side of Colorado and Washington’s actions.

“Children Poisoned by Candy-looking Marijuana Products”

The marijuana industry will continue to grow. Once enough states make it legal, it will only be a matter of time before the appearance of Big Weed. Not long after that, there will be a sustained campaign by various medical groups to educate people on the health risks of marijuana and the the evil ‘profiteering’ of Big Weed. This will be followed by a couple of big Texas law firms launching class action suits on behalf of ‘innocent victims’ with the inevitable liability awards going to the states to support education – ‘for the children’.

Rinse, repeat.

A lot of people seeking to escape reality.

a wake-up call for the 42 states that still choose to force marijuana sales into the criminal market

Colorado skims off 15 percent in taxes, and still fancies that it’s not driving a black market?

Yeah, right. Colorado should change its state motto from Nil sine numine to something more appropriate, like maybe The Laughs Never Stop.

Drug sales are up and private security firms are making bank because of the federal laws.

Drinking may have own horrors, but pot changes one’s psychology in a way no other recreational substance does.

The legalization of pot is a very bad development. If leftist indoctrination in schools isn’t enough, this will put enough of the voting populace either in the of la-la land of lazy leftist fantasy, or cause pothead lazies to vote themselves benefits instead of voting for their country.

I know I will catch flack for this, but here goes.
Prohibition has not worked. It seems any 7th grader can tell you to get any drug you want, and if people are determined to poison themselves with that [email protected], they seem to have no problems getting it.

    This is incredibly naive and totally ignores history.

    Until about 1900, it was possible to legally use and buy drugs in most areas of the United States. This included opium, cocaine, and any other drug one might wish to use. However, the widespread use of these drugs produced the easily foreseen societal problems associated with their unregulated use. Drug induced illness, criminal acts and erratic, dangerous behaviors began to take a significant toll on society. So, over the next 80 years, American society began regulating drugs, including alcohol. And, with good reason.

    The Volstead Act sought to eliminate the use of alcohol, as a recreational chemical. This proved to be impossible, as a significant portion of society rebelled against the total ban on the recreational use of the drug. As we have seen, such recreational use continues to cause extensive societal problems from behavioral disturbances to loss of workplace productivity, to DUI damages, to domestic violence and even criminal rape and murder. If any other drug created even a minute fraction of the problems that the use of alcohol produces, it would be strictly controlled. But, alcohol is “special”.

    Recreational marijuana causes many of the same, or similar, problems that the recreational use of alcohol does. Plus, the preferred method of ingestion of THC is smoking, which exposes everyone around the user to the same effects, whether they wish them or not. At least no one gets drunk sitting next to a man drinking an alcoholic beverage. And, the possession and use of marijuana is illegal, under federal law, and, therefor, it is illegal in every state in the union, regardless of their governing statutes. So, as one “special” drug is already legally available for recreational use, why legalize marijuana?

    As to the “medical” uses of marijuana, there will likely be some documented. However, the whole point of marijuana legalization is not for use medicinally, but recreationally. If it was to be used medicinally, the active ingredients which produce the beneficial effects would have to be isolated and quantified, just as we do with every other medicinal drug. Smoking or eating the plant material delivers a very imprecise amount of the active ingredients. Smoking a joint is the equivalent of closing your eyes, pouring acetaminophen from a bottle into your hand and swallow it. You have no idea if you have taken too little to be effective in treating your symptoms or have just poisoned yourself with an overdose. And we have seen an increase in marijuana overdose cases in the states where it is now “legal”. IF medical marijuana is really the goal, then it should be handled like every other medicine and packaged for accurate delivery to reduce symptoms, not simply wrapped in a piece of paper lit on fire and inhaled.

    The regulation of drugs actually works. It reduces the undesirable effects of uncontrolled drug usage, while at the same time providing efficient drug delivery systems to treat illness.

      ooddballz in reply to Mac45. | February 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

      So, your argument is that the underground drug economy run by criminals is a better solution?
      Got it.

        AS long as people insist on violating the law to use chemicals to alter their perception of reality, there will always be a supply. However, if it is an illicit supply, then the society can actually control it. If the possession and use of the drug is legal, then the power of the society to control its abuse is very limited. Just look to alcohol as the classic example.

      Barry in reply to Mac45. | February 12, 2017 at 3:58 pm

      “The regulation of drugs actually works. It reduces the undesirable effects of uncontrolled drug usage,…”

      No, it doesn’t. People purchase whatever drugs they want all the time. Whatever reduction in “undesirable effects” is offset by the resulting police state, the criminal class of drug dealers/users, and crime as a result of the drug use.

      Bonus: Why did we need a constitutional amendment to outlaw alcohol, but none is needed to outlaw “some drugs”?

        Mac45 in reply to Barry. | February 12, 2017 at 10:20 pm

        Look at the problems caused by the users of illicit drugs. Now, multiply that by 100 if the drugs were legal to possess and use. The level of drug usage right now is occurring when most of these drugs are illegal to possess. Increasing the access, of the public, to anything that causes societal problems NEVER reduces those problems. It only increases them. I do not understand why this is so hard to understand.

        Now, about enforcement. There is really very little enforcement of drug laws. No the court systems have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of many drugs. Drug courts allow even dealers to essential suffer no penalty. And, this is all the result of the actions of liberal/Progressive do-gooders. These are the same people who turned out people, who suffer from serious mental health issues which preclude them from living effectively in the general population, from institutional settings onto the street. In the second case, these people with mental health issues cause all kinds of problems and cost an enormous amount of money to deal with, as they wander through the revolving door of mental health services. In the first case, the same is true. Add up the damage done by drug users, the cost of legal actions, treatment programs and other support programs and the cost is enormous. And, n both cases, the recidivism rate is very high.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Mac45. | February 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm

      I was a state certified substance abuse counselor in NC for 30 years, as well as a psychologist, and this idea that regulation of drugs “reduces the the undesirable effects of uncontrolled drug usage..” is really, really dumb, and we in the field heard it all the time for 30 years from people who have no clue about drug use.

      I won’t waste much on this idiocy, but I’ll ask this question: If a drug addict is abusing drugs uncontrollably, do we suppose he/she will quit using drugs once they learn there are regulations against it? LOL

      We used to laugh just as hard at Nancy Reagan’s well-intended advice to “just say no” as a cure for drug abuse.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | February 12, 2017 at 4:37 pm

        Hey, Henry, maybe we should tell illegal aliens that we have regulations against illegal entry to our country. Surely they’ll up and leave when they find out!

        I always thought Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign was geared toward young people before they started using and became addicts. I’m probably wrong and can’t be bothered to look it up, but that was the impression I had at the time. Of course, I was a young person back then, too, so . . . .

          ooddballz in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

          I always thought Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” campaign was geared toward young people before they started using and became addicts.

          That was the idea behind the campaign, and I am old enough to remember it well.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | February 12, 2017 at 8:20 pm

          It was both, a catchall for youngsters and for addicts. We’d see occasional programs presented at inpatient treatment centers while the kid-directed PSAs were all over TV and radio for a while. But even if it was solely a preventative for youngsters, it was almost laughably lame and implied parents, teachers, clergy, social workers, police, etc., hadn’t already been telling kids to say no for decades. If not a implication, it revealed ignorance of their efforts. Well-intended, poorly thought out.

          Your memory is accurate, but incomplete. Perhaps you didn’t say no back in the day? lol

        He will certainly cease using drugs if he is incarcerated. Now, being a drug councilor, you know that the majority of drug users were not using drugs uncontrollably until they became either physically or psychically dependent or both. The idea that a person wakes up one morning and suddenly, for no reason, NEEDS to use marijuana, Demerol, Oxycontin, cocaine or heroin is absurd. All of these uncontrollable drug users got there the same way. They began using drugs voluntarily and recreationally. And, except in the case of physical addiction on a prescribed medication, none of these uncontrollable drug users are taking the medication a prescribed for a legitimate medical condition.

        Now, when your 9 year old child wants to drink Scotch, you don’t let him, unless it is prescribed for a medical emergency. When he wants to drive your car alone, you do not let him do so. When he wants to jump oof the bridge into the river, you do not let him. So, when the ignorant person who wants to snort cocaine or shoot heroin wants to do so, is it any smarter to allow him to do so?