Please don’t legalize recreational marijuana, Texas. We really appreciate all the cannabis tourism money Texans bring us. (But really, for the love of Zuul, let the people smoke their weed, Texas!).
This is Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s message to Texas in October after Marijuana Moment reported on an economic analysis done on the benefits the Lone Star State stands to gain by legalizing cannabis. According to the report, Texas could see $2.7 billion in annual cannabis sales, absorb $1.1 billion in tax revenue, and create 20,000-40,000 jobs in the industry.
“Yes BUT it would reduce tourism to Colorado, so make sure to consider Colorado first in any Texas decisions,” Polis tweeted.
Saying that Colorado has benefited from other states’ lack of legality and access would be an understatement.
In July, sales for cannabis in Colorado set a record (again), exceeding $200 million. If you break that down, it looks a little something like this, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue:
— $183,106,003 in recreational marijuana sold
— $43,268,565 in medical marijuana sold
— Recreational and medical sales combined created $226,374,568 in revenue
These numbers were even up quite a bit from June - 13.8 percent to be exact - which was another record-setting month after dispensaries made nearly $199 million in revenue.
As far as 2020 alone goes, Colorado stoners have purchased more than $1.2 billion worth of cannabis at dispensaries. Thus, the Centennial State has collected $203 million in taxes this year so far.
This isn’t the first time Polis has been known to joke about Colorado’s green revenue.
“We get a lot of extra business from people coming into our state,” Polis said after he was sworn in in 2019. “From the economic perspective in Colorado, I’d love other states to go slowly so that we can continue to see all these benefits for Colorado.”
“For years, I’d been sort of countering this sort of dire picture of Colorado. But again, if they think that it’s bad, it’s better for us to have less competition at this point. So I mean, if I’m looking at it as governor, I would hope they halt their efforts and send all their business here.”
So, Texas, if you’re reading this, please, please, please don’t legalize quite yet (but seriously - please do, it could save lives). We’re having a good ol’ high time out here in Colorado.