Colorado Residents Did Not Consume Enough Legal Weed in 2014

I live in Seattle, where marijuana is both legal and prevalent enough that A) my apartment building perpetually smells like weed and B) earlier last year, stores “periodically closed” when they sold out of marijuana.

Colorado residents also consumed a lot of legal weed last year, but — as Slate reports — not quite enough:

Retail and medical weed generated more than $60 million in tax and licensing revenue for the state in 2014, the lion’s share of which is helping to pay for school construction and the regulatory system that legalization requires. Opponents looking to nitpick can — and do — point to the fact that the total is a far cry from the $100 million windfall that state officials predicted at the start of last year.

To be fair, Slate describes Colorado’s legal weed industry as a “sweeping success,” but what I see here is a call to action for the citizens of Boulder, Denver, and everywhere in between:

Smoke more weed. We expected you to consume nearly twice as much weed as you did, and you disappointed us.

The quickest, easiest way to turn $60 million in marijuana into $100 million in marijuana is to charge more for pot. But doubling weed prices for 2015 isn’t necessarily the best solution. Colorado’s legal marijuana laws differ from Washington State’s legal marijuana laws on one key point: Colorado residents can grow their own. This means that Colorado weed stores are competing with people’s basements, so there is an incentive to keep prices low.

I suppose you could artificially inflate the cost of… um… weed seedlings? (This is where my ignorance on how to grow marijuana becomes immediately apparent.) If it costs more to grow weed than buy it, people could return to buying weed at stores — but if it costs too much to both grow and buy weed legally, the underground market comes back into play, and nobody wants that.

Colorado could also decrease its weed industry profit estimates for 2015, which I suspect might happen, but that seems defeatist. Colorado, if you want your full $100 million windfall, you should get it. You deserve it. Put it on your vision board and we’ll make it happen.

Which brings us back to the original request: Consume more weed. That’s the only way for Colorado to meet its financial goals. Eating pot brownies helps pay for schools! It’s practically your civic duty.

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