Colorado Made $700 Million By Selling 75 Tons Of Weed In 2014

Colorado's Marijuana Enforcement Division released a report last Friday revealing how much marijuana the state sold in 2014.

According to VICE, the MED report states that last year saw the sale of 109,578 pounds of medical marijuana and 38,660 pounds of recreational marijuana in Colorado, which was the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Those two numbers result in a total of almost 75 tons of raw marijuana sold during recreational marijuana's first full year in effect.

And that doesn't even include edibles.

Medical marijuana patients purchased 1.9 million edible products in 2014 compared to the 2.8 million who bought for recreational purposes.

VICE suggests the difference may be attributed to the higher strength of medical edibles.

Previous research has determined that Colorado made about $700 million off all marijuana sales in 2014.

This -- along with the nearly 30 percent increase in licensed cultivators and retailers (it now has over 2,200) -- makes marijuana one of Colorado's fastest-growing businesses.

Numerous polls have proved that most Colorado residents have no complaints about their state becoming the marijuana capital of America, according to VICE, which makes sense considering about one in eight now call themselves users.

Ohio State law professor Douglas A. Bergman believes the booming business could be due for a dramatic change.

Bergman, who teaches a course on marijuana policy, said,

To me the question is, how much these numbers reflect the novelty of the first year of sales, and how much is driven by tourism. And will that decline over time, or will more and more people become users as the stigma goes away?

Mason Tvert, who serves as director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, wasn't phased when he saw MED's data because the same astronomical numbers would be featured in a report about any other huge industry.

He told VICE,

If this was an annual report showing the number of liquor licenses out there, no one would care. It's noteworthy at the moment because, for the first time, we have hard data on how many people are producing and selling marijuana, which we never had. In five years, this kind of thing won't even be newsworthy, because it will just be another legal product available to adults.

Colorado's marijuana businesses may very well experience significant declines once more states legalize recreational marijuana, but by that time, the entire country will most likely be reaping the rewards from marijuana's elevation of the economy.

Recreational marijuana is currently legal in just three other states: Washington, Oregon and Alaska, with the two latter states passing measures last November.

Citations: u200bColorado Sold Almost 75 Tons of Pot and 5 Million Edibles in 2014 (VICE)