Marijuana is poised to make a big splash in Colorado business after the passage of Amendment 64, allowing its legal sale and consumption, says the Denver Post. Before retail stores open, state officials will apply licensing standards and excise-tax rates. Local governments will decide whether they will impose sales taxes or prohibit retail sales in their jurisdictions.
The industry’s impact could be significant. The Colorado Center on Law & Policy estimates that legal marijuana sales initially could be as much as $270 million a year. That would produce state and local taxes of $47 million a year, plus savings of $12 million a year in law enforcement costs. Marijuana tax revenue dedicated to school construction would create an estimated 372 new jobs. Business investment could be slowed by concerns about how, or if, the federal government will enforce the federal prohibition on marijuana.