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 industry advocates applauded House Democrats on Tuesday after a new $3 trillion federal stimulus bill included provisions to allow marijuana businesses access to banking. Introduced by House speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes wide-ranging goals to address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, from offering financial assistance to state and local governments to forgiving student loan debt. Wrapped into the massive, 1,815-page bill is an initiative led by Colorado Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, which would allow legal cannabis businesses to leverage traditional banking services. Read the rest of this story on DenverPost.com.