As the supply of legal marijuana in Colorado increases and prices drop, more cannabis consumers move away from the black market and start buying in the legal market. This is causing, and will continue to cause, a sharp increase in the tax revenues collected from the legal marijuana market.
I know there are some people reading this who believe cannabis should not be taxed at all. I agree. I wish everyone who wanted one had a cannabis garden in their back yard or could just walk into a store down the block and buy an untaxed ounce. That’s why what I’m about to say will piss some people off.
Marijuana legalization will not happen without tax revenue being generated. I know, you hate money, I hate money; money is a fake man-made thing that we spend our lives obsessing over. But money rules the world. Legalization does not happen without money.
In June of 2015 the state of Colorado collected nearly $10 million in marijuana taxes. That’s nearly double what they collected in June of the previous year. Double. Money. By May of this year the state had collected $88 billion in cannabis tax revenue. Money.
Some may not realize this, but most people don’t smoke weed or a regular basis. Many have tried it, but those who consume it regularly only account for about 10% of the US population. Ten percent at the ballot box won’t get you anything.
But the politicians and the soccer moms and the hockey dads who don’t smoke weed but see nothing really wrong with it, we need their votes. And when you start talking tax revenues and rebuilding schools (as they are doing in Colorado), those people flood to the pro-legalization side.
Legalization will not come without money. Knowing that, some in the cannabis industry need to decide if they are really for legalization or not. What is happening in Colorado is the future, are you on board?