COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The numbers are out, and they are smoking. According to the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG), in 2015, sales of recreational marijuana grew by 42.4 percent, to $996 million.
“I think it goes to show, if you properly regulate the cannabis industry, it has a great benefit to the economy,” Jacob Rowberry of MPG said.
The group’s research revealed legal marijuana activities generated $2.4 billion in state output, and created 18,000 new full-time positions in 2015.
“More people are moving into the regulated marijuana economy,” Rowberry said. “Were starting to divert a lot of people who were previously in the black market. So more consumers are coming to the the regulated areas like Colorado.”
Marijuana generated $121 million in tax revenue. A portion of it has been earmarked for the state’s public schools.
“This year, state schools are getting $54.2 million,” Jeremy Meyer of the Colorado Department of Education said. “You have to recognize that it’s not really a whole lot of money. With a $5.4 billion annual budget, it’s only 1 percent.”
Marijuana taxes were the second-largest revenue source among excise products in the state. They were 14 percent larger than casino-gaming revenues, almost three times larger than alcohol revenues and just 5 percent less than the lottery.
“There’s going to be a lot of people looking to us to tell the story as far as revenue and how to regulate the cannabis industry,” Rowberry said.
All signs indicate these numbers will continue to grow.
More stories you may like on 7News
Jerry Lewis, the legendary actor and comedian, has died, his agent confirmed to CBS News. He was 91. This is a developing story and will be …
The three day event features brand new exhibits geared at making learning about the eclipse fun for the whole family.
A child was killed overnight after multiple shots were fired into an apartment in Gaffney.
The U.S. Marshal Service has joined the hunt for 34-year-old, Sterling Roberts of Dayton, OH in relation to the Tuesday homicide that killed…
A body has been recovered from Lake Hartwell Saturday morning near the Singing Pines recreational area.