Is Marijuana the Holy Grail of the Economy?

3 years 3 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
MOBERLY - A state medical board suspended the license for a doctor after finding he improperly gave drugs to and... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 9:27:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man and woman Thursday afternoon on suspicion of burglary. Deputies were dispatched... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
RAYMORE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a suspected improvised explosive device has been detonated near a suburban Kansas City patrol... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:37:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of people are expected to gather at the state capitol Friday for a rally against the... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 8:07:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Police Department will be participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Around one hundred years ago a team of astronomers confirmed Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity using the... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 7:30:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in Eclipse Science
JEFFERSON CITY - A small fire damaged an apartment building on Clark Avenue early Friday morning. At about 4:00... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, August 18 2017 Aug 18, 2017 Friday, August 18, 2017 6:53:00 AM CDT August 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - MarineParents.com, which is based in Columbia, helped grant a mother's wish for her fallen Marine, Cody Haley. 780... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 7:21:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Opponents of Missouri's right-to-work law are one step closer to having it delayed. A coalition of unions... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Hotels in Columbia are already over 95 percent full for the upcoming eclipse weekend. Megan McConachie, Strategic... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:32:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
CLINTON (AP) — A man accused of providing the weapon used to kill a western Missouri police officer is facing... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 6:23:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - It just got a lot easier to serve alcohol over the forthcoming eclipse weekend in Jefferson City.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:16:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
PETTIS COUNTY - A man was shot and killed at a trailer park outside the Sedalia city limits Thursday afternoon,... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:12:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A toddler and mother were thrown from a car and two other people were hurt in a... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 5:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Missouri's Republican House Speaker Todd Richardson says he's considering running for state auditor. Richardson told The... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:17:32 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
SEDALIA - Sen. Roy Blunt agreed with some of President Donald Trump's comments on Charlottesville, Virginia and condemned white supremacists... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:02:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in Continuous News
SEDALIA — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and her potential Republican rival Attorney General Josh Hawley are meeting at the... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 2:46:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on a Missouri lawmaker posting and deleting a comment hoping President Trump is... More >>
21 hours ago Thursday, August 17 2017 Aug 17, 2017 Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:47:00 PM CDT August 17, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
12pm 84°
1pm 86°
2pm 87°
3pm 88°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
12:30p
Inside Edition
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer
1:00p
Maury

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
America's Got Talent
9:00p
Dateline NBC
7:00p
Masters of Illusion
7:30p
Masters of Illusion
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld