Colorado is recognized as a pioneer in legal cannabis because the state has had a cultural affinity for marijuana for decades, and is the first state to open adult marijuana stores. More than four years have passed since Colorado approved marijuana use for adults, and data shows that the state’s economy has not fallen, but rather improved. Now, legislators and advocates in other states are looking to Colorado as an example for regulating marijuana properly.
Since Colorado legalized all forms of marijuana for adults, the state’s economy has evolved, as it has earned $198.5 million in tax revenue in 2016. The Drug Policy Alliance saw this revenue used for good, “These revenues fund school construction, marijuana enforcement and general state needs.” Also, Colorado has the lowest unemployment rate, from all the jobs created from the legal marijuana industry in the state. In 2015, Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs, which dropped the state’s unemployment rate to 2.3%, the lowest in the nation. The overall sales and numbers are positive in the state because old customers are spending more and new patients are entering the market, so Colorado should only expect more sales and growth within the next few years.