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Medical marijuana officially a multi-million dollar business

4:32 PM, Jun 21, 2010   |    comments
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"They are making a lot of money off of us," Brian Wiley said. Wiley helps run Patients Choice of Colorado on South Broadway.

Ever since the Colorado Attorney General gave cities permission to start taxing medical marijuana late last year, cities across Colorado have seen an extra shot of cash infused into their ever-tightening budgets.

In Denver, it has resulted in an extra million dollars of sales tax revenue.

The numbers are from a period stretching from December to April. During those five months, the city collected $1,023,308.67 from the various medical marijuana businesses scattered around the city. In March, the city collected $226,492.56, the highest reported collection to date.

The city is quick to point out that the figures still represent less than 1 percent of the total sales tax collected.

Even still, people like Wiley know the industry is a money-maker.

All around him on South Broadway, medical marijuana shops have been popping up over the last year.

Patients Choice is now the grandfather in the area, even though the shop only started doing business in March of last year. One shop not too far from his has a blue poster board hanging out front which reads "$5 joints."

"There is a saturation in the market right now," Wiley says. His business is down 30 to 35 percent since late last year, likely from the increased competition, he says.

He expects the industry to settle itself out over the course of the next few months as new statewide regulations start to take shape.

But he doesn't expect the demand to settle down much.

As one industry observer noted to 9News on Wednesday, "It's one of the few growth industries around these days."

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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