Marijuana has only been legally for sale in Colorado for less than two months, but already it is exceeding expectations. Previously, they projected sales would be around $395 million in the state’s next fiscal year.
But now, those numbers are suddenly “higher”. Based on current sales, they are now projecting recreational and medical marijuana sales to approach $1 billion.
The state has a 25% tax on recreational marijuana, which is projected to add around $134 million to the state tax revenues. But most of that money will be spent on marijuana education and prevention programs.
What they don’t count is how much money the state will save by not putting marijuana users in jail, and also from freed up police time.
I predict that if this turns out as planned, and there aren’t any major problems, we will be seeing other states fall in line.
Ironically, the biggest problem legalization might engender is too much drug tourism — people traveling to Colorado explicitly to partake legally and then party a little too hardy. This very issue has forced some places in the Netherlands to back off a bit on legal weed. But it would only be a problem in Colorado if other states do not follow suit.