Cannabis Industry Bolstering Retail, Manufacturing Job Growth in Colorado

Article by Alicia Wallace, The Denver Post

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Halfway through 2016, Colorado’s employment growth is meeting expectations and the economy continues to outperform the nation: Employment is growing faster here, housing is hotter and incomes are higher, according to a report released Thursday by the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business.

And Colorado’s fledgling marijuana industry — which, in the grand scheme of things, is just a tiny sliver of the economic pie chart — is backfilling retail sales losses from the bankruptcy of a certain Englewood-based sporting goods retailer and bolstering otherwise sluggish manufacturing segments, according to the Colorado Business Review report.

“The legalization of marijuana is expected to continue to drive growth in retail sales and employment, but the impacts are in select areas where it has been legalized,” the report’s authors wrote. “Marijuana sales have shown strong year-over-year growth since it was legalized, and will likely outweigh other activities in the (retail sales) sector, such as the bankruptcy of Sports Authority.”

Cannabis revenue totaled $486 million for the first five months of 2016, up from $356.8 million in the first five months of 2015, according to Colorado Department of Revenue data released Wednesday.

The fledgling cannabis industry also was cited as a potential catalyst for a sudden rise in manufacturing jobs.

Read full article here.

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