Colorado and Washington State were the first two states in the U.S. to vote to legalize cannabis for adult use. The successful legalization votes in Colorado and Washington predate Canada and Uruguay’s legalization laws.
At the time both states were celebrated for their historic public policy changes. Legal adult-use sales took longer to launch in Washington, which made Colorado the first state to ever allow legal adult-use cannabis sales in the United States (January 2014).
Since the start of 2014 when legal adult-use sales began in Colorado, the world has watched closely to try to gain insight regarding what has worked and what hasn’t, in Colorado, and how big Colorado’s industry will eventually get.
Since Colorado launched adult-use sales a number of other states have followed suit. That has led many industry observers to wonder what Colorado’s ceiling is when it comes to sales? Apparently, there is still room for growth based on recent sales figures. Per Westword:
Most business owners will be shaking their fists at 2020 for the remainder of their lives, but this year has been kind to the marijuana industry. After setting a new monthly record in June, dispensary sales kicked down the door in July, crossing the $200 million mark for the first time, according to the state’s Department of Revenue.
Colorado marijuana sales started booming in May, increasing 23 percent over April to nearly $192.2 million, and they haven’t looked back. Dispensaries sold almost $199 million worth of weed in June, then jumped another 12 percent to over $226.3 million in July, DOR numbers show. That’s more than $617.4 million in legal marijuana sales in three months.
Why isn’t every state doing what Colorado is doing by allowing adult-use sales? The amount of tax revenue and jobs that Colorado’s industry has created, in addition to boosts to local economies, is significant. There’s no real downside to permitting regulated cannabis sales.
Colorado’s industry growth has started to level off, however, it clearly has not hit its peak yet. Over half a decade has passed since the first legal adult-use transaction occurred, and sales are still climbing.
Even if July proves to be the ceiling for Colorado’s industry, the numbers are still impressive if they can be maintained and sales figures should raise the eyebrows of every lawmaker in every prohibition state that is searching for solutions to address ongoing budget shortfalls.