It took just 1o months for Colorado to hit $1 billion in legal marijuana sales this year.
Data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue show Colorado cannabis retailers sold $720.7 million of recreational marijuana and $371.4 million of medical marijuana through October, totalling about $1.1 billion.
How much is $1 billion?
- If you take a billion $1 dollar bills and put them in a stack, your pile would measure 67.9 miles high.
- If you laid the $1 bills end to end, the money trail would be 96,900 miles long.
Industry experts are projecting $1.3 billion in sales for the year. Colorado’s state coffers will receive roughly $150 million in sales taxes, $40 million of which will go to school construction projects. The rest of the revenue will go to the public school fund, substance abuse treatment and prevention programs and health care.
- RELATED STORY: How Weed Will Help Fight Bullies In Colorado
ArcView Group, a leading cannabis industry research firm, estimates that the legal U.S. marijuana industry could reach nearly $22 billion in total annual sales by 2020.
Christian Sederberg, an attorney specializing in the cannabis industry, told the Denver Post:
“We think we’ll see $1.3 billion in sales revenue this year, and so the economic impact of this industry — if we’re using the same multiplier from the Marijuana Policy Group’s recent report, which is totally reasonable — it suddenly eclipses a $3 billion economic impact for 2016.”
It is numbers like this that is driving more and more states to consider legalizing marijuana. In November, four more states legalized adult use and four states voted to allow medical marijuana programs. Currently, eight states (plus Washington D.C.) have full legalization and 29 states have medical marijuana.