In a 13-minute segment broadcast Sunday night, CBS’s “60 Minutes” explored Colorado’s budding medical marijuana industry, and heard from a former drug cop turned tax enforcer who insisted that the industry has helped Denver beat the recession.
That runs contrary to President Barack Obama’s logic: he said in 2010 that legalizing marijuana is not “a good strategy to grow our economy.”
But the economic impact on Denver? According to Matt Cook, a former narcotics officer who oversees enforcement at the Colorado Department of Revenue, “it’s huge.”
Cook helped write the state’s medical marijuana law, and works as a consultant for medical marijuana businesses in the state. Speaking to “60 Minutes,” he said that the industry accounts for “over a million square feet of lease space in the Denver area.”
“Look at all the electrical contractors, HVAC contractors,” he said. “The number of ancillary businesses — it’s huge. Tax revenues exceeded, I believe the last number I heard was an excess of $20 million.”
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