Now that marijuana is legal for recreational use in the state of Colorado has passed, in January 2014 people will be able to walk into Colorado stores and legally buy pot (provided that they are over 21, of course). For many who living in surrounding states or just want to visit the beauty of Colorado this has become an added benefit. In fact, marijuana tourism has become an official item on the list of Colorado tourism items, and thanks to the passing of Prop AA it’s sure to make the state a lot of money once it becomes legal to buy pot in stores next year.
One of the biggest reasons why marijuana tourism is about to become a big deal in Colorado is the passing of Prop AA. This is a bill that will make the commercial sale of recreational marijuana legal in the state, but it will also impose a 15 percent excise tax and a 10 percent sales tax on the substance on top of the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax. This means that recreational marijuana will see a 25 percent tax increase in 2014. This will of course mean that the price of pot will be very high, but most people will be willing to pay high prices if it means being able to walk into a store and buy marijuana legally.
The new laws governing commercial marijuana sales will go into effect next year. It is expected that it will generate approximately $70 million in additional revenue for the state of Colorado.
Medical Marijuana passed in the state of Colorado in 2010 only allowing those with a medical card and a prescription for it to legally posses marijuana but, when Colorado Amendment 64 passed in 2012 allowing the legal sale of recreational marijuana it opened up a whole new market. It’s legal to possess and grow the substance, and companies such as My420Tours.com are taking full advantage of that. Those who book these tours are put in a “420-friendly” hotel where they are allowed to sample different kinds of pot, purchase paraphernalia and even take courses on cooking with marijuana. Once it becomes legal to actually buy pot commercially in stores, there’s no telling how far the marijuana tourism industry will go.
The legalization of marijuana may still be a contentious subject across the United States, but if experts are right it could lead to a lot of extra revenue for Colorado. Whether or not this will affect marijuana laws in the rest of the country remains to be seen. For now, we’ll just look to Colorado and its wise voters to see how it all shakes out.
By Neil Charles