By Carina Julig
Colorado has surpassed $1 billion in tax revenue from marijuana sales since recreational use was legalized in 2014.
Marijuana tax, license and fee revenue has reached $1.02 billion, and marijuana sales over $6.5 billion, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced in a news release. Colorado has 2,917 licensed marijuana businesses and 41,076 licensed individuals working in the industry.
Marijuana revenue funds a range of youth and public health programs in Colorado, including mental health services, youth literacy initiatives and anti-bullying programs in schools. Marijuana tax revenue goes to both state and local governments.
"This industry is helping grow our economy by creating jobs and generating valuable revenue that is going towards preventing youth consumption, protecting public health and safety and investing in public school construction," Governor Polis said in a statement.
Colorado must continue to innovate in the marijuana industry in the face of growing national competition, Polis said. Colorado was the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana, but since 2014 nine other states as well as Washington D.C. have followed suit, and more plan to do so.
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