Colorado made headlines a month ago with the news that they would be making recreational sale of marijuana legal. Only one month after this groundbreaking legislation, Colorado has raised more than 1.24 million dollars in tax revenue.
This information comes from a group of 18 Colorado marijuana retailers. Some of these retailers, due to issues with licensing, were only able to start selling recreational marijuana 4 days ago, so the tax revenue for future months is expected to grow. With the excitement surrounding the legalization of recreational marijuana, most businesses are being forced to close early because they are out of product. There is even a state wide shortage of pot due to the high demand. It seems that the state of Colorado drastically underestimated the success of this legislation.
When legalization of recreational marijuana was on the ballot, lawmakers estimated that they would be able to make around 67 million dollars in the first year, but the success of the first month shows that that the real figures could be much higher. If the retailers are able to get the the licensing taken care of, and find a way to supply the demand for marijuana, the tax revenue from pot in February could be as high as $250,000 a day. This means that the real number for marijuana tax revenue for the first year would be closer to 100 million dollars.
Colorado’s economy will benefit greatly from this surge of tax dollars. The first 40 million has been promised to be used to build schools, but thats just the tip of the ice berg, the money will be used for road projects and other improvements. Other states are catching on and starting to push for legalization. It seems like Colorado’s early success may be leading the way for legalization and regulation rather than criminalization.