Mayor says cannabis regulation strategy in Denver is “having success”

Last year, the City of Denver pulled in cannabis tax revenue to the amount of $44.7 million

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Bethan Rose Jenkins and Bethan Rose Jenkins

He might have campaigned in opposition of Colorado’s cannabis legalization measure back in 2012, but it seems that the Mayor of Denver, Michael Hancock (D), has changed his opinion on the green plant. He has since admitted that the city has successfully been able to regulate the cannabis industry.

Voters didn’t take his advice anyway. Cannabis prohibition came to an almighty halt in November of 2012 after Amendment 64 was passed.

What happened next must have come as quite a surprise to Mr. Hancock. Regulation of Colorado’s cannabis industry led to an increase in tax revenue and jobs.

A progress report monitoring the effect that legalization has had on the City of Denver was released by state officials in the second week of August.

“This new report demonstrates Denver’s coordinated approach between multiple agencies to manage marijuana is working,” Hancock explained in a press release. “We took on the daunting challenge of becoming the first major city in America to manage legalized recreational marijuana and we are having success.”

Report on legal cannabis in Denver uncovers the following findings:

  • In 2017, the amount of medical and recreational cannabis products sold by retailers in Denver amounted to $584 million.
  • Last year, the City of Denver pulled in cannabis tax revenue to the amount of $44.7 million. This figure indicates a 20 percent annual increase.
  • Crimes associated with the cannabis industry accounted for less than half of one percent of total crime citywide. From this figure, we can determine that 82 percent of cannabis industry-related crime in Denver occurred from cannabis business thefts or attempted burglaries.

Separate state-funded report says legal cannabis in Denver is “working well”

The progress report on legal cannabis in Denver is one of two that indicate progression for the city’s cannabis regulation strategy. A separate report was funded by the state and released in August.

According to the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado’s “licensed, regulated commercial marketplace is working well.” Despite the fact that Mayor Hancock firmly disapproved of cannabis legalization in the past, he is making up for lost time by fronting a nationwide partnership involving local officials. The aim of Mr. Hancock’s nationwide coalition is to urge the U.S. federal government to deal with cannabis using a more up-to-date strategy.

“Mayors are the ones implementing legal marijuana. We know what works and what doesn’t.” said the Mayor of Denver via Twitter.

The complete report contains more detailed data and graphs. View it here.