According to a new study, the legal cannabis industry is making some enormous economic splashes in Colorado. In 2015 alone the industry generated just under $2.4 billion in total economic impact. Wrapped up in that number is thousands of new jobs and tons of tax revenue. And all this growth isn’t going to slow down anytime soon. In fact, the report said that the legal cannabis industry would only continue getting stronger over the next few years.
Key Findings In Economic Impact
The Marijuana Policy Group published the study. After analyzing some key metrics here are some of their most significant findings.
- Legal cannabis created $2.39 billion of total economic impact in 2015.
- The legal cannabis industry created 18,005 new jobs in 2015.
- There was $996 million of legal cannabis sales in Colorado last year.
- In 2015, cannabis was Colorado’s second highest excise revenue source. It brought in $121 million in sales and excise taxes.
The study also found that tax revenues exploded by 91.1 percent from 2014 to 2015. And a significant portion of those taxes has gone to fund schools and other public goods. All in all, the report revealed that legal cannabis is booming in Colorado. Coloradans voted to legalize recreational pot back in 2012. And sales began in 2014. Since then, the legal marijuana market has seen a steady increase in activity.
Explosive Growth Will Continue
If the folks at Marijuana Policy Group are correct, that growth will continue into the future.
“Legal marijuana demand is projected to grow by 11.3 percent per year through 2020,” the report said. “This growth is driven by a demand shift away from the black market and by cannabis-specific visitor demand.”
The report went on to predict that by 2020, total cannabis sales in Colorado will peak around $1.5 billion. By then, the state will probably consume somewhere around 215.7 metric tons of marijuana bud.
These numbers seem to be in line with other economic studies. ArcView Market Research and New Frontier published a report on the national legal cannabis industry earlier this year.
They predicted that the entire legal marijuana industry would hit $22 billion by the year 2020. Most of that growth should come from the sale of recreational pot in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.
But there could be more states added to that list in the very near future. That’s because five states have recreational initiatives on their ballots. There are also four more states with medical cannabis bills going up for a vote as well.