Colorado’s 2017 Marijuana Sales Reach $1 Billion in Just Eight Months

Marijuana sales in all forms have become a blockbuster, billion-dollar industry in Colorado, with two straight years of topping the $1 billion mark. It took 10 months to hit that number in 2016; in 2017 it took only eight months, even with the state raising its marijuana sales taxes from 10 percent to 15 percent in July, The Cannabist reports. So far in 2017, medical marijuana’s share of the sales tally up to $292 million.

Marijuana is easily one of the world's most controversial plants and, in the U.S., has endured a particularly rocky history. Even so, the legal marijuana market totaled $3 billion in 2015, and is predicted to reach $10 billion in the next five years — a number that Colorado is obviously helping to reach. It’s also obvious that Colorado is mining gold in the form of taxes, which is probably an embarrassment to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, which stubbornly continues to list even the medical form of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug alongside heroin, LSD and ecstasy.

That medical marijuana sales in Colorado are in the hundreds of millions of dollars is a testament, too, that cannabis must be working for the medical conditions it’s being purchased for, because if it didn’t work, nobody would be buying it.

These aren’t just desperate people looking to buy anything they can find to help them. The science behind medical cannabis is there: In fact, scientists now believe the endocannabinoid system may represent the most widespread receptor system in your body, and as such the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana that occur when a cannabinoid activates a cannabinoid receptor can have positive effects in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more.

Medical marijuana has more and more been found to work when other drugs don’t, for a cornucopia of illnesses, from stopping seizures to treating pain. And when it comes to pain, considering the high risk of lethal consequences of opioid painkillers and sleeping pills, medical marijuana is a godsend. Other common ailments cannabis treats include degenerative neurological disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and mood disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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