Want to know why states are legalizing recreational marijuana?
Let me give you a hint: It has something to do with the color green. Not the color of the plant, but the color of money.
Because recreational marijuana has now been legal in Colorado and Washington for 18 months and 11 months, respectively, we’re finally starting to see just how lucrative the recreational-marijuana business is — for the record, it’s also now legal in Alaska, Washington D.C., and, starting in July, Oregon.
In March alone, consumers in Washington purchased $21.9 million worth of recreational cannabis through legal channels. That was more than twice the amount of the $8.3 million spent on medical marijuana that month.
The rapid ascent of recreational-marijuana sales is nothing short of extraordinary. In July 2014 — i.e., the inaugural month of recreational sales in Washington — the handful of stores open at the time sold a mere $2.8 million worth of weed. Over the next eight months, this figure climbed by a factor of 10.