Article by Emily Gray Brosious, Extract
Colorado’s legal marijuana market generated $996 million in total sales, nearly $2.4 billion in total economic output and 18,005 full-time equivalent jobs in 2015, according to a new report from the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG).
MPG created a new “marijuana economic impact model,” which uses official data to estimate the overall state-level economic impacts of legalization in terms of output, tax revenues, GDP and employment.
The cannabis industry is growing faster than any other sector in Colorado, with marijuana sales seeing a 42.4 percent growth rate between 2014 and 2015, according to MPG’s report. That’s far higher than Colorado’s overall economic growth, which increased by 3.5 percent in 2015, and the national average economic growth rate of 1.75 percent.
“It is important to understand that a large majority of the market growth in Colorado is not due to secular growth in demand, but rather a transition from the unregulated market to the regulated market,” the report explains.
In other words, the report found that demand for legal marijuana isn’t increasing because more people are using the drug. Demand is largely rising because more people are just choosing to buy pot legally, now that they can.