Colorado’s cannabis sales are booming. For nine months in a row, weed sales in the state have exceeded a whopping $100 million. In February 2017, they were at a record high of $126.1 million. More than $84.6 million of that revenue was from recreational cannabis, while $36.9 was from medical. This is amazing news for cannabis businesses and lovers. By 2019, economists predict $213 million in state tax revenue from cannabis alone.
Cannabis became officially legal in Colorado in 2012 with the Colorado Amendment 64. This ballot amended the state constitution and made personal and recreational use of weed legal for adults 21 and over.
While it is legal, there are still many rules to follow. Adults can grow up to three mature cannabis plants, but only in their private spaces. Like with alcohol, you can get in trouble for driving under the influence. And while you travel, you can only carry one ounce with you.
It sounds strict, but luckily, these rules do not apply to medical cannabis. Colorado fought long and hard to legalize weed. By 2010, two years before recreational weed was legalized, dispensaries were popping up everywhere.
Colorado has great plans for all that extra cash, too. The state is already getting more funding for schools and special programs. The department of education even plans to create anti-bullying programs.
Even with weed legal in eight states and Washington D.C., times are tough. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently asked law enforcement to get stricter when it comes to cannabis laws. Sean Spicer even warned of a federal crackdown on cannabis.
This, however, hasn’t stopped states like Oregon, Alaska, and Washington from fighting back.
We don’t know when and under what administration cannabis will finally become legal. We do know if states like New Mexico made it legal, they would earn themselves a lot of green (pun intended).
Julia Rubin is a Brooklyn-based author. Her work has appeared in publications like the North American Review, The Lascaux Review, and Sierra Nevada Review, and she has written for a variety of online media companies like AllDay and Wetpaint Entertainment