Is Marijuana the Holy Grail of the Economy?

3 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Thursday, April 24 2014 Apr 24, 2014 Thursday, April 24, 2014 7:35:00 PM CDT April 24, 2014 in News
By: Connor Wist, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

DENVER - The dark economic recession that Coloradans faced in 2009 is now a year in the past for the state's bright future ahead. The Centennial State pulled in nearly $3.5 million in pot-related tax revenue in January 2014 alone.

For January, the figure combines revenue from medical ($1.5 million) and recreational marijuana ($2 million)--revenue levels that would project annual revenue of $42 million for the state.

With talk about a possible marijuana initiative appearing on the 2016 ballot here, Missourians are slowly being introduced to the idea of legalization.

Christie Lunsford is director of operations at 3D Cannabis Center in Denver. She has seen and experienced the immense growth in the marijuana industry since the store opened in 2010.

"In this building, we were only renting about four thousand feet initially," Lunsford said. "Now that we are one of the first legal marijuana stores in the United States, we've brought our cultivation up to 18 thousand square feet and we are currently building two new greenhouses up in the mountains."

The director of The Marijuana Industry Group (MIG), Michael Elliott, said the marijuana industry has taken over between three and five million square feet of real estate in Colorado.

Elliott pointed out the increase in demand since January has created 7,500-10,000 jobs throughout the state.

3D Cannabis Center started with one employee in 2010 and now employs more than 37 people.

Colorado has nearly 500 medical marijuana centers serving nearly 110 thousand medical marijuana patients, with 70 retail marijuana stores opening since January 1. Fifteen percent of the medical marijuana centers have converted to the recreational side.

"It went from 110 thousand medical marijuana patients to about four billion people in this world that are 21 and up that can come and purchase from one of these businesses," Elliott said.

Lunsford said 80 percent of customers who come through the doors at 3D Cannabis Center are from out of state.

"The market here in Colorado has experienced exponential growth just in the last three months and people are coming from all over the U.S. to learn what we are doing here and take that knowledge back to their own state," Lunsford said.

The biggest question is how to spend the tax revenue being generated. Voters approved a law last year that requires the first $40 million collected from excise taxes to be directed toward school construction.

"We've got 500 pages now of marijuana law and rule," Elliott said. "We need money to make this program work. We want money to keep marijuana out of our schools and for public education campaigns urging people to not sell it to kids or give it to kids. Also, to not take it out of state and to keep our roads safe by not driving impaired and to not consume it publicly."

"I think the people in Missouri need to look at medical marijuana first," Lunsford said. "Of the one thousand people that come through our door every week, about 30  percent of them are using marijuana for a medicinal effect."

Legalizing marijuana would mean significant changes in the way crimes are viewed in the state of Missouri. From the tax revenue generated in Colorado, more conversation of marijuana legalization in Missouri could appear on the horizon and the ballot in the next few years.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
ROCHEPORT - With all 163 seats in the Missouri House of Representatives up for election this November, campaigns are getting... More >>
18 minutes ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:57:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
LICKING - The Texas County Sheriff's Office canceled an Endangered Silver Advisory for an 85-year-old woman reported missing... More >>
45 minutes ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:30:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - A California man was taken into custody after deputies reported finding a "substantial amount" of meth inside... More >>
55 minutes ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 7:20:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia plans to pull together a group of professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in News
CENTERTOWN - A warm, but blustery Sunday morning carried the smell of gunpowder over Rock Creek Road in Centertown, a... More >>
6 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST February 18, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will soon be supplementing classroom training with online courses, according to Public Information Officer... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 10:14:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A fire destroyed a home on East Mount Hope Road early Sunday morning. Boone County Fire... More >>
10 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 9:53:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in News
Eric Hosmer is leaving the Royals. Hosmer signed an eight-year contract with the San Diego Padres for for around... More >>
20 hours ago Sunday, February 18 2018 Feb 18, 2018 Sunday, February 18, 2018 12:04:00 AM CST February 18, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - More than 100 students gathered to compete in the 2018 Columbia Elementary & Middle School Scholastic Chess Tournament... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Father Tolton Catholic High School Blazers and the Battle High School Spartan Sparklers came to share their... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:49:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – The Ashland Police Department is taking precautionary measures after a school shooting at a Florida high school. The... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 4:36:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH – Elementary students displayed their creativity on Saturday. Hy-Vee hosted a Junior Chefs Energy Bite competition. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 3:40:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police were unsure Saturday who drove a vehicle they believe hit and killed a man on I-70.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 2:34:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Public Schools will have two high schools by August 2019. The district held a... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST February 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boys & Girls Club of Columbia kicks off its 13th annual MFA Oil Rootin' Tootin' Chili Cook-off... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 6:35:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT- Leonard Stephenson has lived in his mobile home, on the same street, for over 20 years. "I... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, February 17 2018 Feb 17, 2018 Saturday, February 17, 2018 12:55:00 AM CST February 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Department of Mental Health is notifying 1,000 people that some personal information... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 5:16:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid complaints about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, the Centers for Disease Control said the vaccine is... More >>
2 days ago Friday, February 16 2018 Feb 16, 2018 Friday, February 16, 2018 3:54:00 PM CST February 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
9pm 48°
10pm 50°
11pm 50°
12am 51°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
11:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:35p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
One for the Money
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
One for the Money
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy