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Denver Sees 74% Drop In Illegal Cannabis Sales, But Legal Sales Also Declining

Since Colorado became the first US state to launch legally licensed cannabis retailers in 2014, the prevalence of illicit cannabis in its capital city has fallen by nearly 75%.

A new report from Denver’s municipal government has found that alongside the sharp decline in illegal cannabis, there has also been a steep decline in cannabis-related offenses, which now constitute just 1% of all reported offences in the city.

Furthermore, as Denver Mayor Michael Hancock points out: “When Amendment 64 to legalise marijuana was put to Colorado voters, many feared that youth marijuana use and crime would skyrocket. To date, none of the extreme negative predictions about legalisation have come to pass in the Mile High City.”

READ MORE: New York’s Efforts to ‘Reinvent the Wheel’ Could be Holding Back its Cannabis Industry’s Growth

While the city’s illegal trade has been significantly diminished, legal cannabis sales across the state have been in decline since 2022, when they fell 22%, with Denver seeing a 28% fall.

Green Market Report reported that this decline has been attributed to reduced foot traffic and tourism, increased regulations and growing competition, though Colorado still made $54.8m in cannabis tax revenues during the year.

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