Is Marijuana the Holy Grail of the Economy?

3 years 8 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
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the final moments leading up to Friday's midnight deadline, Senate Republicans and Democrats were unable to... More >>
14 minutes ago Saturday, January 20 2018 Jan 20, 2018 Saturday, January 20, 2018 5:00:00 AM CST January 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The FBI recently opened an inquiry into Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, two US officials told CNN, as he... More >>
7 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:19:05 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A visiting MU researcher is working to fight cancer with blueberries - specifically the extract of the fruit.... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 8:06:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some facilities in the state may be required to hang posters with information about human trafficking by the... More >>
10 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 6:43:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri offered Amazon nearly $2.5 billion in incentives over 10 years in a bid to... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:25:09 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that 80 percent of state students who needed treatment for... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:09:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Campaign finance reports revealed Governor Eric Greitens' campaign operation has been leasing space in the same complex as... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- The annual blood drive for fallen officer Molly Bowden came at a time when collecting blood is vital. ... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 3:56:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA- A federal judge sentenced a man to more than 20 years in prison Friday for exploiting several children under... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- While the government heads toward a possible partial shut down many government agencies in mid-Missouri will remain open. ... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:23:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Rep. Dean Dohrman, (R-La Monte) has introduced House Bill 1528 to the Missouri Legislature. The bill requires... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 2:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - Governor Greitens' attorney said Friday the rumors about Greitens possibly resigning hold "zero truth". Rumors of... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 1:21:00 PM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Property restrictions based on race and ethnicity are not a thing of the past, in fact, they can... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 11:37:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — An 18-year-old staying at a Missouri ranch for homeless boys has been charged with killing a woman... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:56:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Two Kansas City brothers have been charged with killing a man and then dumping his... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 9:11:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - "From the early 1900s to the 1960s, the Sharp End business district was a city within a city... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 7:43:00 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who was thousands of dollars in debt from a drunken driving... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, January 19 2018 Jan 19, 2018 Friday, January 19, 2018 5:32:30 AM CST January 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Deputies booked two men into the Boone County Jail on suspicion of various charges, including an apparent plan... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, January 18 2018 Jan 18, 2018 Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:45:00 PM CST January 18, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
6am 35°
7am 37°
8am 39°
9am 41°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
This Week in Mizzou Basketball
5:30a
On the Money
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld