The Centennial Institute at the Colorado Christian University (CCU) announced in early December that it had published the results of an internal study which calculated the amount of money spent on cannabis in Colorado.
CCU’s data shows that residents spend approximately $4.57 for every one dollar that is generated in recreational tax revenue. To obtain this estimate, the university research team analyzed data collected in 2017 to better understand how cannabis purchases give back to the state.
The university utilized public sales data and divided total tax revenue by the total cost of having a recreational cannabis program in order to come up with $4.57. Researchers also yielded other findings as well, including how calls to poison control centers have increased, and assumed trends in the physical status of those who consume cannabis frequently.
CCU Vice President of Public Policy and Director Jeff Hunt released a statement about the aforementioned results of this particular study. “No matter where you stand in the marijuana legalization debate, having more information is critical to making the best decisions for the future of Colorado and our nation,” said Hunt. “Like tobacco, commercial marijuana is likely to have health consequences that we won’t be able to determine for decades. The economic and social costs in this report are intentionally low and the comprehensive costs are likely much higher.”
Although the CCU’s study has a different approach to analyzing cannabis’ effect on the state, other industry groups have expressed differing opinions. Kristi Kelly of the Marijuana Industry Group notes that there will always be different interpretations of state data. “We’re talking about a product, cannabis, that has shown indicators that it can be helpful in battling the state’s No. 1 health problem,” she said. “Why are we focusing our time and energy on a possible prohibition instead of focusing on what the state says it needs. Imagine how much more quickly we could address these issues if we worked together.”
Likewise, Morgan Fox of the National Cannabis Industry Association commented on the results, and noted that not all studies are created equally. “I don’t think this report is very scientifically rigorous and would like to see it be peer-reviewed. I’m guessing it would not pass muster, aside from being clearly biased,” Fox said.