The marijuana industry is booming all across Colorado, especially in areas that are heavily visited by tourists. One of the top tourist destinations in Colorado is of course Aspen, where marijuana sales numbers were recently released. In total, Aspen sold almost $7 million dollars in medical and recreational marijuana from May 2014 to May 2015. Per Aspen Daily News:
A growing number of marijuana dispensaries in the city of Aspen generated $6.74 million in taxable retail sales in the year between May 2014 and May 2015, according to numbers released this week by the city of Aspen.
“In total, marijuana sales are roughly 1 percent of all city retail sales, though this percentage varies by month due to periods of high visitation,” city of Aspen assistant finance director Pete Strecker wrote in an email.
The city previously did not report taxable retail sales data solely for pot shops, as state laws protecting taxpayer confidentiality prevent disclosure of revenue data from a single business category unless there are at least three operators in that segment and none of them represent more than 80 percent of the market. Starting in the middle of last year, marijuana sales were reported together with liquor store sales but the city did not distinguish between the two.
This is just one town out of many in Colorado, albeit a very popular destination compared to other parts of the state. But still, almost seven million dollars worth of marijuana sales in one year, in one town. Why isn’t every town in America doing this? It’s like creating tax revenue out of thin air. Can you name one town in America that couldn’t use more revenue for schools and other public services?