- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Colorado Collects Millions In Marijuana Commerce, Crime Rate Decreases


colorado legal marijuana salesIn the last fiscal year, Colorado has collected roughly $22,000,000 in cannabis related taxes and fees. That number is expected to climb significantly in the next fiscal year. During the first three months of 2014, Colorado’s marijuana industry has generated $12,600,000 in marijuana taxes and fees from both the recreational and medical marijuana industries. Not only is millions of dollars in new revenue coming into the state coffers, but prohibitionists’ claims about an increase in crime and mayhem have not come to fruition as crime has actually decreased since regulated cannabis sales began.

From The Huffington Post:

Four months after recreational marijuana sales were legalized in Denver, crime still hasn’t gone up, according to the city’s latest data.

Overall violent crime in Denver for the four-month period that includes January to April fell 5.6 percent from the same period a year earlier. Crime is down in the four main categories of violent crime — homicide, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault. Property crime dropped 11.4 percent from the first four months of 2013.

The crime data stands in stark contrast to statements made by law enforcers in 2012, before Amendment 64 legalized marijuana in Colorado for recreational sale and use.

Multiple members of the state’s law enforcement community warned legalization would bring bleak and “harmful” consequences. “Expect more crime, more kids using marijuana and pot for sale everywhere,” Douglas County Sheriff David Weaver said in a 2012 statement . “I think our entire state will pay the price.”

Colorado certainly hasn’t paid the price that Sheriff Weaver warned about, but plenty of consumers have been willing to pay for quality cannabis as the recreational marijuana industry is growing at a rapid pace. In the first three months that recreational marijuana sales have been legal, that sector of the industry has generated $7,300,000 in tax revenue. Recreational sales were $14,000,000 million in the month of March, up from $14,000,000 in February. I’d expect that number to keep climbing as more outlets come online, and more customers continue to travel to Colorado from out of state for ‘marijuana vacations.’

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has predicted that Colorado’s marijuana industry will reach $1 billion dollars a year, and that taxes and fees would reach well over $100,000,000 a year. Medical marijuana revenues still exceed legal marijuana revenues, but that gap is getting smaller every month. The customer base for medical marijuana is much smaller than the potential customer base for recreational marijuana.

The marijuana industry in Colorado is a model for other states, and countries, to mimic. Implementation of legalization in Colorado has been very smooth. Why is every state not doing this? What state doesn’t need a billion dollar industry right now, and the taxes and fees that are generated by it? What country doesn’t need a booming multi-billion dollar industry? Prohibition is a dismal failure that only wastes tax dollars, diverts law enforcement resources, ruins innocent lives and enriches dug cartels. It’s time for a new approach in every state across the union and every country across the globe.

Source: International Cannabis Business Conference


About Author

Anthony Johnson is the director of New Approach Oregon, the PAC responsible for Measure 91, that ended cannabis prohibition for all Oregon adults in 2014. In addition to helping organize the International Cannabis Business Conference & the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference, he also serves as a Board Member of the National Cannabis Coalition, working to legalize cannabis across the country and Show-Me Cannabis Regulation, an organization specifically working to end cannabis prohibition in Missouri. As President of the University of Missouri Law School ACLU Chapter, Anthony co-authored the measures that legalized medical cannabis possession and decriminalized personal possession for all adults within the city limits of Columbia, Missouri, in 2004. Following law school, Anthony practiced criminal defense for two years before working full time in the political field to help improve and protect civil liberties. You can follow Anthony on Twitter and also friend him on Facebook by following the links below as he posts mostly about civil liberties and politics with dashes of sports, music, movies and whatnot.


  1. Ellyn Williams on

    It is about time the government started realizing there are billions of dollars to be made. If it was legalized federally, it could really help the deficit this country has. The US has big financial problems. Legalization would not only bring revenue to the states legalize it, but it brings jobs and pride to people that grow it. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a really good harvest.

  2. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    pot price is an outrage after becoming legal it should have fallen by a factor of ten , instead it doubled meanin money grabbers are taking advantage of everyone and other like them are waiting in the wings to copy them .good thing its legal to grow 6 plants

  3. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    doubling the price after it became legal is price gouging not fantastic

  4. tennesseetuxedo59 on

    we’d be happy to pay taxes on fair priced pot but these goomers got greedy and doubled the price .when somothing becomes legal price should plummet

  5. The government can’t stop marijuana use just as with alcohol during the prohibition. It became a black market empire. Why not legalize and control it. It actually can help people in many ways if controlled properly. It just has a bad stigma due to the sixties era. Things are changing though.

  6. Doc Deadhead on

    Hey, here is a great name for the new taxes on pot…………….the happy tax!

    This is the only tax that the people are “happy” to pay.

    There are “sin” taxes on cigarettes and alcohol that people HATE to pay so let’s call this a “happy” tax on pot!

    Legalize, tax and regulate the same as alcohol, no more, no less.

    Commercial cannabis growers should be regulated just like a the distilleries(which are highly regulated, btw) and personal growing treated like home brewing of beer and wine(which is regulated to quantity per person per year), no more, no less.


  7. I don’t think that the fed government and state government folks ever realised How Huge that the market for POT is and now with this report in, I imagine that Pork Lovers everywhere are salivating over the huge chunk of money that they could have in their states to plunder. After all Money talks and Bullshit walks.

  8. Innocent Toker on

    I agree it is better pricing than black market street corner stealers but I will be very, very happy when we have a bit more competition and thus a bit lower pricing. Legal is good, oh so good. As to growing my own, my thumbs are black. ;(
    Have a great week Nurrah.

  9. Many states probably already DO have a $billion marijuana industry. It’s just that they don’t collect taxes from it, and they SPEND money trying to eradicate it.

  10. I actually found it to be a far better product for price than what would have been available to me when in NYC. And… and.. I can grow my own. I’m a gardener, that makes me very happy.

    Not arguing with you, I agree with you! I just think price is comparable… it may be more expensive than what Colorado was used to, but to folks in other parts, it’s a fantastic deal. And legal. Love the legal part!

  11. Innocent Toker on

    I still think the pricing and taxes are to high but the fact that we have been successful and continue to be successful is absolutely beautiful. If this does not ease some minds about how things could be and should be then they are truly ignorant beyond reason. Case in point Bill O’Reilly’s constant rants about us useless stoners… I am blown away at the lack of common sense concerning legalization vs. prohibition. Thanks Colorado for having the courage to stand alone in a ‘sea to shining sea’ of ignorance.

Leave A Reply