Cannabis industry not king in Colorado economy: Federal Reserve

Colorado’s marijuana industry is booming and boisterous, but the burgeoning business sector is a mere blip on the state’s broader employment and revenue picture.

Denver-based economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City this week published a snapshot of the marijuana industry’s economic effects in Colorado, which in 2014 became the first state to implement legal adult-use cannabis sales.

“As the first state to open recreational marijuana retail stores, Colorado provides a case study to examine the potential economic effects from legalization,” wrote Alison Felix, vice president and Denver branch executive, and Sam Chapman, associate economist in the latest issue of the Rocky Mountain Economist quarterly publication.

Here’s what economists found when they compared the latest marijuana revenue, tax and employment data to other business sectors and the state’s overall economic performance:


Consumer spending in Colorado totaled $236.3 billion in 2016, the most current available data on personal consumption expenditures.

Marijuana sales that year

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