Last Update: October 28, 2014
Regulated marijuana sales in Colorado creating jobs, tax revenue without increasing crime
On January 1, 2014, Colorado became the first jurisdiction in the world to see the regulated retail sales of recreational marijuana. It has been nine months since, and results are turning up overwhelmingly positive. In the first eight months, Colorado collected $45.2 million in taxes and fees from the marijuana industry.
Meanwhile, violent crime has fallen 5.6% as compared to 2013, and property crime has fallen 11.4%. As of May 1, the state has licensed 200 retail dispensaries throughout the state and 10,043 individuals to work in the industry. That does not even include jobs created in collateral sectors, such as construction, law, accounting, and tourism. More than a thousand people lined up on a blustery March day in Denver to participate in a cannabis job fair.
The state has also showed off its pioneering spirit, in the areas of finance, science, and culture. Despite a February memo from federal authorities that gave banks the go-ahead to work with marijuana businesses, many financial institutions have been hesitant to do so. That is why legislators passed an innovative bill creating marijuana-specific financial cooperatives. The governor has also signed a new law allowing the state to fund up to $10 million for research into the medical benefits of marijuana and a pair of bills to tighten up regulations on edibles. And just this month, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra hosted a first-of-its-kind fundraiser, cheekily named “The High Note Series,” allowing attendees to consume marijuana while a brass quintet played.
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Colorado voters end state marijuana prohibition!
On November 6, 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first states in the country — and the first geographic areas in the world — to enact state-legal systems of marijuana cultivation and sales to adults 21 years of age and older. The effort was coordinated under the umbrella of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, led on the ground by initiative proponents Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado and Mason Tvert formerly of SAFER and now the director of communications at MPP. This MPP-funded campaign was the culmination of an eight-year effort to build support for marijuana policy reform in the state. Thanks to each and every one of you who donated to and participated in the effort to end Colorado’s marijuana prohibition.