Colorado was the first state in the union to legalize adult use cannabis, and as one of the more mature markets in the country, the economic impact is undeniable. Colorado and Wisconsin have similar populations, so let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
As of May 2020, Colorado has estimated annual product sales at $1.77 billion dollars and over 40,000 people are licensed to work in the industry. It ranks second in the nation only behind California. Those numbers are not to be taken lightly. The cannabis industry economic growth indicator suggests an 8% annual increase in Colorado alone, and the industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of the United States’ economy.
So why does Wisconsin keep dragging their feet when it comes to reform? There are a myriad of reasons, but one thing elected officials should be looking at is the tax revenue gained from adult use.
Although there is a strong debate to suggest taxation is too high in legal states, Colorado is on track to surpass over $300 million of tax revenue. Because Covid19 has done a number on state and local economies across the nation, the extra revenue sure comes in handy filling the gaps. Those numbers do not reflect local sales tax, and many localities that regulated adult use continue to see their revenue streams increase from cannabis, as well.
Wisconsin could see similar numbers if the legislature could pass reform that benefits small business, entrepreneurial innovation that opens up the market and expands the workforce exponentially. Yet, we can’t even get a hearing on a watered down medical bill. They say money talks in politics, but in this case, this type of green is going across our borders.