It's been four months since recreational marijuana became a reality in Colorado, and we know two things: Revenues are up, and crime isn't (at least not in the capital). Here's the Denver Post regarding tax money:
"Colorado collected $3.2 million in February, below the state's projection of $3.7 million but slightly above the $2.9 million it gathered in January," the paper reported April 9. "In February, Colorado collected $1.43 million from a special 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, plus another $438,253 from the state's standard 2.9 percent sales tax. The 2.9 percent sales tax on medical marijuana produced revenues of $1.02 million in February, an increase from the $913,519 collected in January and far above the $791,000 the state had projected in February."
Meanwhile, according to Vox.com, the city of Denver has defied fearmongers who said marijuana would lead to the fall of respectable civilization. Instead, violent crime fell 2.4 percent in January and February (compared to the same time frame last year) and property crime tanked by 12.1 percent.
Lesson: Let's all agree that personal liberty is a wonderful thing, and we have no idea what will happen when we expand it. That may still happen in Colorado Springs, as the advocacy group Every Vote Counts was set, as of press time, to file a ballot question with the city clerk's office that would potentially overturn City Council's ban on recreational sales. Of course, it will only make the ballot if Council refers it, or if the group collects enough signatures, but it has potential.
In the meantime, entrepreneurs like those behind the International Cannabis Technology Expo, happening April 19 and 20, aren't waiting around. We've turned over some space in this ReLeaf installment for the program guide for the inaugural event, while still bringing you word on dispensaries — medical and recreational — in the region. Thanks for reading.