DENVER -- As more and more states begin legalizing marijuana, Colorado's cannabis industry continues to hit new highs.
Sales reports released by the Colorado Department of Revenue show dispensaries sold more than $114.3 million in recreational marijuana in March, a record number.
The previous record was set last August, when sales topped $112 million.
"People are realizing that this is here to stay, it's not a joke," says Peter Marcus, with Terrapin Care Station. "These are safe, regulated places to purchase cannabis, so people who might have been unwilling or hesitant to get involved in the first place, are now seeing that it's totally acceptable."
Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, nine additional states have followed.
The record numbers show a drop in marijuana tourism, isn't hurting sales.
"I think that there were assumptions in the beginning, as to what this industry would look like in terms of its customer base," he says. "We're seeing a whole variety of customers. One of our fastest growing demographics is older people."
So far this year, Coloradoans have purchased $386 million in marijuana.
The state is once again on pace to set an annual record, which has happened every year since 2014.
"That $115 in monthly sales, that translates obviously to tax dollars for the state of Colorado, but beyond that, those are people that are spending their money in stores, which means we can hire more employees, which means greater workforce development," says Marcus.
"As long as the growth is based on responsible rules and regulations that govern this industry, then of course let it grow."AlertMe