The governor of Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, saying it would mean less tax revenue for his own state from marijuana tourism. He may have been joking with the statement, but there is some truth to how he and other legal recreational use state politicians feel.
Governor Jared Polis (Demcrat-CO) tweeted, “That may be true BUT it would decrease tourism to Colorado, so be certain you consider Colorado first in any Texas decisions.” The governor was reacting to a Marijuana Moment study on a new economic analysis that revealed how Texas stands to create billions in tax revenue and tens of thousands of jobs if it enacted the policy shift.
Governor Polis has a track record of making comments about the cannabis tourism revenue Colorado receives from non-residents visiting recreational marijuana dispensaries in Colorado. Soon after he was sworn in this past year, Polis said “we get a great deal of extra business from those coming to our state” and so “from the financial standpoint of Colorado, I would like other states to go slowly so that we may continue to reap all these advantages for Colorado.”
Polis also said, “For years, I had been kind of countering this type of dire picture of Colorado, but if they think that it is bad, it is better for us to have less competition at this time. I mean, if I am looking at it as the Governor of Colorado, I’d hope they halt their attempts and drive all their business here.” So if Colorado discourages Texas from legalizing marijuana, it’s not a surprise that Polis is behind the sentiment.
Colorado continues to have record breaking sales every month and and while he has been quick to tout the financial advantages of regulating cannabis sales in Colorado, Polis has also highlighted the need for restorative justice in the marijuana industry. Earlier this month, he exercised new clemency powers to grant almost 3,000 pardons for individuals convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes.
Meanwhile, Polis is not the only governor making note of the fact that his state sells legal cannabis to those who reside in places where it’s still prohibited. Illinois Governor. J.B. Pritzker (Democrat), spoke about how his state’s new recreational marijuana market “gives us a opportunity to collect tax revenue from the residents of Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana.”