It has now been five years since Colorado began allowing recreational marijuana
January 1, 2014 was a new day in a new year in an entirely new environment. It was the first day recreational marijuana use was permitted in Colorado and was marked forever in the annals of history by a veteran of the Marine Corps, Sean Azzariti, who became the first person in the state to make a marijuana purchase for recreational use. Looking back, Colorado has come a long way since then.
That first purchase by Azzariti was never consumed. Instead, the veteran and marijuana enthusiast took his $60 worth of flower and infused chocolate truffles home, where they have been ever since. He explains, “I still have the entire first purchase. I tried to give it to a few local museums shortly after, and they promptly turned me down, citing federal prohibition. I’m hoping in the next few years that will change and I can give it to a museum to display.”
The newly opened market was met with lines of customers that extended for blocks, with some dispensary owners concerned that there wouldn’t be enough product to go around. That is no longer a concern, as there is now an abundance of product for everyone. The CEO of Colorado Harvest Company, Tim Cullen, asserts, “That wholesale market has brought about an abundance of cannabis to the Colorado market and that has lowered the prices. And that’s one of the biggest benefits for consumers, is a dropping of prices.”
The prices may be dropping, but the state is still smiling all the way to the bank. Since recreational marijuana was legalized, Colorado has received almost $1 billion in tax revenue. Additionally, there have been more employment opportunities, new technological advances and new marketplaces. As an added benefit, the introduction of a legalized marijuana market in the state has not resulted in an increase in adolescent marijuana use as many had once feared. Happy Anniversary, Colorado.