Colorado is continuing to set record marijuana sales — $235 million for the first two months of 2017, up 30 percent from the same period in 2016 — and one shocking theory is emerging as to why retail figures are so robust: Donald J. Trump.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, which tracks industry trends, suggests that the Trump administration’s negative comments regarding legalization and regulation may be one factor behind the soaring growth. Reporter Eli McVey writes:
Considering the Trump administration’s relatively unfriendly stance toward recreational marijuana, it’s conceivable that more out-of-state visitors are visiting Colorado to stock up on product that may no longer be available in the coming months.
This phenomenon has been on full display in the firearms industry. Gun sales spiked during the Obama administration when many believed their Second Amendment rights were being threatened. But since president Trump took office and the perceived threat has subsided, firearm sales have sharply declined.
The interesting, but hard-to-prove theory is worth considering. Neighboring states, many of which are at odds with Colorado on regulating cannabis, have let the federal government know about its dissatisfaction with marijuana illegally being driven back into their states. Cannabis consumers in those states may, indeed, be looking to stockpile their stash before possible action by a federal agency.
Just last week, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said this about the issue:
“Let me be clear about marijuana. It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs. Its use and possession is against federal law and until the law is changed by the United States Congress, we in DHS, along with the rest of the federal government, are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books.”
Related Story: DHS Secretary Kelly Comes Out Hard Against Marijuana
The Marijuana Business Daily reports that Colorado sales of recreational marijuana in January were 38 percent higher compared to January 2016. In February 2017 recreational sales soared 48 percent above those the previous year.
These historic highs are happening even as the price of cannabis is declining. According to the report, the state’s wholesale marijuana prices in mid-January 2017 were down 33 percent compared to mid-January 2016.
In 2015, Colorado’s total cannabis sales was just short of $1 billion. In 2016, the state’s legal retailers sold $1.3 billion. This year, the state is on pace to easily break that record.