Medical Marijuana Makes Money Magically Materialize
(Or Pot Portions Prove Profitable in Producing Plenteous Proceeds)
Can we talk? Depending on your age, you either have or you haven’t. You either approve or you don’t. This is not a discussion about the moral rightness or wrongness of smoking marijuana medically or otherwise. This is an article about how Medical Marijuana Dispensaries are saving our local and state economy.
For thousands of years marijuana has been used recreationally, therapeutically and for medicinal purposes. In the year 2000, Colorado voters passed (with 54% voting FOR) a law that would legalize the use of Medical Marijuana. The problem was that Amendment 20 did not provide for how patients were supposed to score their legal marijuana, and it was not seriously pursued for almost a decade because no one knew what was or wasn’t legal, including the State and local governments.
Colorado is one of fifteen States that has legalized Medical Marijuana in the past 30 years, but Colorado and California comprise 92% of the sales nationwide. Colorado is the fastest growing and user friendliest State, and it is estimated that by the year 2015, Marijuana revenues will be $8.9 billion (yes, BILLION) in national revenues.
One of the problems has been that it is still illegal under Federal law to possess it, so legislators have been hoping that they could regulate the sales well enough to get the Feds to turn a blind eye. So far so good, but of the 25 million people nationally who are eligible for a Medical Marijuana prescription, only 730,000 have one.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers has fought any kind of legalization of this hallucinogenic substance. He indicated, however, that he would prefer to see it legalized for adults, in the same manner as alcohol, rather than the hypocrisy that we are now in. As we were a decade past the passage of Amendment 20, the State legislature passed laws regulating the growing and dispensing of weed, and ruled that each local business has to grow 70% of what they sell.
The immediate booming of this business, probably the only business to really thrive in this down economy, produced an immediate explosion of profits for the State and cities involved ~ Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder being the main ones. While 25 cities in Colorado have so far banned it, those that have allowed Medical Marijuana sales have found that they have turned around the red of their empty coffers in their jurisdictions to the sweet humming of green.
Because Colorado is a national model, the capitalism of MMJ sales is flourishing in a strictly regulated environment. As of July 1, all dispensaries have 24 hour surveillance cameras on all parts of the store at all times. Every micro gram is accounted for, and all records indicate that there is no sign of increased illegal use. While California growers are supposed to work as non-profits and receive ‘donations’ from their users for services rendered, Colorado has taken a different approach. Anything made over and above the government fees and production costs are profit.
One main problem is that start-up and production fees are so high that it could take years for these growers to realize much of a profit. And there are enough dispensaries that sales prices have also become competitive. When they started selling it medicinally, it was sold at $60 an ounce, but the average price is now $35 per ounce.
When this business started flourishing last year, Colorado and its major cities were facing massive shortfalls in their budgets. Since then, some of the income statistics have been staggering, and have turned a floundering economy into one that is reversing previously neglected services.
The State of Colorado saw a windfall of $10 million on its strained budget from application fees for dispensers, and triple that amount in taxes! The projected annual Denver City Sales tax revenue is expected to be $3.5 million.
At the end of last year, Colorado Springs was receiving $50,000 per MONTH in revenue from the sale of Medical Marijuana, while Boulder was pocketing approximately $83,000 per MONTH.
In addition to everything else, these are a few of the things that the sale of Medical Marijuana has done for Colorado:
- It has steadied commercial real estate
- It has kept commercial brokers busy leasing buildings that have been standing empty for years
- It has provided employment for Security System operators
- A whole new sector of lawyers is thriving
- Horticulture experts have a new business
- Buildings and factories that have been shuttered for years are now operational
- In Denver 500,000 square feet of empty space has been leased by dispensaries
I’d consider that a real Rocky Mountain HIGH!