Since December 10, 2012 Colorado has had a legal Cannabis market and it's impact was almost immediate. The State's economy, tourism, and even it's people are benefitting regardless of whether or not they partake in the plant. As Colorado embarked on one of the greatest social experiments in recent memory, it has become a beacon for the Marijuana tourist and enthuiast. Revenue generated from total over all sales of cannabis has surpassed the alcohol revenue in 2015. In 2014 the Department of Revenue released the gross taxes from marijuana and it topped 63 million dollars. Renewal and licensing fees from dispensaries generated 13 million dollars in tax revenue. In the following year, dispensaries and other ansillary services generated $996,184,788 in revenue. At this time the current tax revenue data is unavailable, however put that into perspective. 996,184,788 dollars generated both by residents and vistors to our state; let's say a third to a half of that money was spent by residents. They would directly contribute to Colorado's economy with steady spending habits and a fluid contribution to a growing state economy. It isn't the same story for tourists.
Tourism has a great effect on the economy even if it is coming from marijuana based tourism. Here in Trinidad, we see a great amount of tourists from Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Kansas. These visitors are grateful to be here, being that they can partake with no threat or fear of having their lives ruined by facsist, dracionian drug laws. So, being in such high spirits, they spend thier money locally at hotels, restaurants, shops, bars and they are very generous. As far as Cannabis being in Colorado you can be free to be who you are. And this has inspired many to move here and call Colorado home. Just in 2015 alone 200,000 people moved to the state including myself. When I renewed my Occupational badge, there were 37,216 people permitted to work in the industry. With the massive influx of people coming here for the Marijuana culture, it is plain to see the effect on the economy and tourism and it is undeniable.
With such a rapid migration of people to the state, and the resulting effect on tax revenue, there has been a tax surplus every year since the legalization took effect in 2012. In 2015 the tax rebate was around 38 dollars per resident. Instead of recieving that rebate check, Colorado voters chose to reallocate that funding back into infrastructure, schools and prevention and drug treatment programs. Even the opponents of legal marijuana can not deny that it is beneficial to the state and it's residents. With all the revenue and tourism benefitting Colorado, this grand social experiment is undeniably a great thing for our society and other states are taking note.