2016 was a milestone year for the Colorado marijuana industry. Recreational and medical marijuana shops in the state broke the $1 billion mark in legal sales in the third year of state legalization.
The sales, which totaled around $1.3 billion, include both recreational and medicinal cannabis, and the numbers come from a statement by Colorado’s Department of Revenue obtained by THE CANNABIST. That’s just the sales revenue — if you look at total economic impact for the state, it could be much, much more.
“We think we’ll see $1.3 billion in sales revenue this year,” Christian Sederberg, a lawyer in Colorado, told THE CANNABIST in December. “And so the economic impact of this industry — if we’re using the same multiplier form the Marijuana Policy Group’s recent report, which is totally reasonable — it suddenly eclipses a $3 billion economic impact for 2016.”
Weed is big business. Sure, that’s something people probably already know, but these numbers are definitive proof of the power of pot. Sales revenue has increased leaps and bounds since 2014, when marijuana was legalized in Colorado. The first year saw nearly $700 million in revenue, and the second year saw $996 million.
In 2016, around $875 million went to recreational marijuana, and $438 million went to medical sales. It’s not just a green rush for retailers, though. Colorado received $199 million in taxes and fees, which will go toward public schools, health, and law enforcement.
The data are in: Marijuana is big business for everyone — billion dollar big.