Gov. John Hickenlooper: 'Think twice' before legalizing pot if you're trying to lure businesses

January retail pot sales tax data just released

DENVER - Colorado's Governor is cautioning other states from legalizing marijuana.

At a conference in Dallas on Tuesday, on public-private partnerships -- like the U.S 36 expansion and toll lanes -- Gov. John Hickenlooper warned the decision makers about legalizing marijuana.

While showing a slide that said millennials will outnumber baby boomers by 22 million in the year 2030, he said the following:

"You get all those young people who do certain things that some of us oppose and aren't crazy about, like legalizing marijuana. Let me tell you, if you're trying to encourage businesses to move to your state, some of the larger businesses, think twice about legalizing marijuana."

Denver7 reached out to the Governor's office to see which businesses specifically spurned Colorado because of legal marijuana.

"The governor knows marijuana is part of the conversation in recruiting companies to Colorado, but it has not had any measurable impact to the economy," his office said in a statement to Denver7.

New January 2016 marijuana tax information released

  • $54.6 million in retail marijuana sales
  • $31 million in medical marijuana sales
  • $85.6 million in total marijuana sales
  • $11.3 million in total marijuana tax collection
  • $87.6 million in total marijuana tax collection since July 2015

At his State of the State address in January, the Governor made reference to booming business.

"Since July 2014, we’ve secured 9,000 new jobs created by companies relocating to Colorado, and existing businesses expanding here. Companies like DaVita, Intel, Reed Group, FiveStars, Gusto and Proximity Malt," said Hickenlooper.

"We chose and are really, really thrilled to be in Denver because of the people, because of the culture, because of the outdoor environment, because of the public transportation," Gusto co-founder Joshua Reeves told Denver7 via webcam from his San Francisco-based office.

Colorado's laws on legal pot were not a factor when Gusto moved into the old ESPN Zone space at the Tabor Center on the 16th Street Mall.

"We have about 50, we call ourselves 'Gustonauts,' based out of Denver now," said Reeves. "We call it, kind of 'The People System.' It's payroll. It's HR. It's health insurance. It's workers' comp. It's, kind of, everything you need to have that piece of mind in running your business."

In October, Denver7 also reported that DaVita would be adding 800 more jobs to its downtown Denver corporate headquarters. Those jobs are supposed to average $89,000.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Print this article Back to Top