Denver weed sales have now topped $1 billion
In Colorado, statewide, $5 billion worth of weed has been sold
A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.
Sales of marijuana in the Mile High City — since legalization five years ago — recently passed $1 billion.
A huge number. And that's just counting Denver city proper, not including suburbs like Aurora or Arvada, where weed sales are also gigantic.
Colorado as a whole sold $1 billion in weed statewide in just the first 10 months of this year.
Since legalization, Colorado has sold $5 billion worth of cannabis. That's brought in nearly $200 million in taxes statewide, including $160 million for schools — enough to build three high schools. That's way more taxes than even the backers of Amendment 64 were expecting.
Many states with legal weed have outstripped expectations. In Nevada, Oregon and California, the taxes are flowing. In Canada, stores have been running out of weed.
Sales in Denver aren't slowing down.
The city of Denver sold $327 million worth of pot already this year. There are 200-plus pot shop in Denver, more than Starbucks or McDonald's.
Who's buying all this weed?
Well, Denver only has 700,000 residents. So if the sales were distributed evenly, every Denverite would have spent $1,400 on weed since legalization.
Fourteen hundred person? That would be a very high city, indeed.
Of course, all that weed didn't go to just Denverites. Much of it was bought by visitors from Colorado's Eastern Plains and Western Slope, where marijuana stores are rare or nonexistent.
Some also slid across state borders. About 44 percent of Denver weed is sold to residents of other states, according to "Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel."
A good bit of that ganja got smoked here, on vacation. But some was stuffed into suitcases and spare tire compartments and smuggled home.