Tourism, Tax Revenue Up in Cannabis-Friendly States

Legal cannabis sales began in Colorado 18 months ago and since then tourism has been up 14 percent.

While Coloradans say the increase is due to a lot of things, K.C. Becker represents the Boulder area and went to Seattle to share the Colorado experience.

“We’re certainly seeing an increase in the occupation of our industrial spaces and retail spaces from retail marijuana and the grow facilities,” Becker said.

In Seattle, cannabis is legally advertised on billboards. One entrepreneur offered tours of grow houses.

Jill Lane, a master grower, said she sees plenty of out-of-staters.

“On a given Friday night, we’ll see drivers licenses from forty states, so we get folks from all over the country,” said Logan Bowers, the owner of Hashtag Marijuana.

In Washington, officials said they immediately saw an increase in tourism when cannabis became legal.  “People want to see what a marijuana grow looks like,” said Randy Simmons, with the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Control Board. “People want to go and look at a marijuana retail store, whether they are buying or not. It’s the ability to go an see something that has been illegal for so long.”

Washington brought in $65 million in cannabis tax revenue in the first year of sales.