Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
Earlier this week, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told lawmakers and business owners in other states to use caution when it comes to legalizing marijuana.
The warning came during a speech he gave at a conference in Dallas. The event was focused on how to improve partnerships between government and private businesses.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper told the audience:
“You get all those young people who do certain things that some of us oppose and aren’t crazy about, like legalizing marijuana.”
“Let me tell you, if you’re trying to encourage businesses to move to your state, some of the larger businesses, think twice about legalizing marijuana.”
The Colorado Governor’s speech hinted that legalizing marijuana has kept businesses from moving to Colorado. But he didn’t say which ones had bypassed the state because of its cannabis laws.
He also didn’t provide any details about how legal marijuana may be harming the state’s economy.
In fact, his recent State of the State speech made it sound like Colorado’s economy was booming.
“Since July 2014, we’ve secured 9,000 new jobs created by companies relocating to Colorado, and existing businesses expanding here.”
And it seems like the same is true when it comes to the marijuana industry.
A research group published a report about marijuana jobs shortly after recreational cannabis became legal. It found that the marijuana industry in Colorado created 1,000 to 2,000 brand new jobs.
It also said that somewhere around 10,000 people in Colorado had jobs that are somehow related to the cannabis industry.
Colorado sold just under $1 billion of marijuana last year. That gave the state more than $135 million in taxes.
The tax money Colorado raises from marijuana sales is used for a number of important projects including school construction.
Although companies may not be moving to Colorado as quickly as the governor would like, it seems as if people are flocking to the state.
Between 2013 and 2014 more than 200,000 people moved to Colorado. Many of them moved there to get safe and legal access medical marijuana.
This group of new Colorado residents often includes families with sick children or disabled war veterans. In many cases, vets move to Colorado because they can’t get medical marijuana from their VA doctors.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)