No matter anyone’s beliefs on the marijuana industry, it’s undeniable that more and more states are legalizing it for medical purposes and even some, like our own Colorado, for recreational purposes. Although the federal government still says it’s illegal, many entrepreneurs are taking the leap anyways and jumping into the business, expecting it to take off…and some are finding great success in a new industry with little competition. The federal government has said it won’t interfere with states where marijuana is legal, except in the cases where it’s being moved by drug cartels or being sold to minors…in fact, the federal government is looking to pass a bill where it would be like alcohol and up to the states to decide how to regulate and handle it.
Colorado’s retail marijuana dispensaries just opened at the beginning of this year. These dispensaries are required to also grow their own product. A majority of the taxes on it, which is similar to taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, goes to Colorado schools, which are some of the lowest funded per capita in the United States. Colorado has also seen some new businesses pop up in relation to marijuana sales such as marijuana-infused bakeries and marijuana tours where they drive you around. Much like alcohol, you cannot drive under the influence or use in public.
Here in Colorado it sounds as if the opening of the marijuana dispensaries was a little lackluster: yeah, some lines, but the state sure wasn’t a crazy Cheech and Chong adventure. Perhaps it will add to the tourism industry in Colorado but otherwise, maybe business as usual? What do you think will happen? Do you think the federal government will leave it to the states to regulate and focus on drug cartels instead? Do you think these entrepreneurs will find the profits they seek?
If you want to see some numbers and learn more, the Wall Street Journal did a long article on the new industry.