Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ganjapreneurs Rescue Colorado's Economy

Denver, Colo., has more medical pot dispensaries than Starbucks, but the budding business, legal in 17 states, defies federal laws. Steve Kroft reports.

Story Transcript: Medical Marijuana: Will Colorado's "green rush" last?

"It's about a two billion dollar market in 2012, growing to just under nine billion dollars in 2016. So you're seeing hockey stick growth." -- Tripp Keber, CEO of Dixie Elixirs

This is all private enterprise, licensed and regulated and taxed by the state. It was enshrined in the Colorado constitution after voters approved an amendment allowing the sale of marijuana to people who can demonstrate that they may benefit from its avowed medicinal properties. Matt Cook, a former narcotics officer, wrote the law and served as the state's first director of enforcement.

Steve Kroft: What's the economic impact been?

Matt Cook: It's huge. There's over a million square feet of leased space in the Denver area. Look at all the electrical contractors, the HVAC contractors, a number of ancillary businesses. It's huge. Tax revenues exceeded -- I believe the last number I heard was in excess of $20 million.