Colorado’s marijuana industry experienced a banner year in 2020 — not in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of it. Dispensaries across the state were declared essential businesses and allowed to operate while bars, restaurants and gyms were forced to close. That designation helped sales exceed analysts’ expectations. According to Roy Bingham, co-founder and executive chairman of Boulder data firm BSDA, the national market grew more than 45% to $18 billion in 2020, outpacing forecasts by about $2 billion, an increase attributable to “the COVID effect.” Cannabis consumers shopped less frequently but purchased more, including many newcomers with increased at-home time on their hands, he said. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.
Cannabis companies are the leading sponsors of Colorado highways, accounting for cleanup on two-thirds of the roads maintained by Clean Colorado — a program the industry has leveraged as a loophole in the state’s strict limits on marijuana advertising. Currently, 51 cannabis dispensaries, cultivators, manufacturers and edible producers sponsor roadways throughout the state, according to data from the Adopt a Highway Maintenance Corporation. Though they represent less than half of all organizations that participate in the Clean Colorado program, those cannabis firms’ reach spans about 198 miles, or 66% of the roads actively sponsored. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.