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As

the state with the most robust network of regulated medical marijuana dispensaries and
the first state with adult-use marijuana stores, Colorado is the state people look to most to
see how regulating marijuana is working. More than four years have passed since Colorado
voters approved regulating marijuana for adults use, and more than three years have
passed since adult-use stores opened in 2014, and data shows the sky has not fallen and the
economy is doing quite well.

Business Environment and the Economy
In both 2015 and 2016, Forbes ranked Denver the best place to do business among the
countrys 401 metropolitan statistical areas, noting in 2015 that Companies are
increasingly choosing Denver as the site for new operations or to relocate.1 2015 was
the first time Denver received a first-place ranking.
After selecting Denver over 22 other cities as its primary innovation and sales hub in the
U.S., Panasonic president Jim Doyle said, It became somewhat of a slam dunk.
2014 which was the first year of regulated adult-use sales had Colorados highest
employment growth this century.2
Colorados gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 4.7% in 2014 and 3.2% in 2015,
well ahead of the nationwide change of 2.4 % in 2014 and 2.5% in 2015.3
In March 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Colorado as the best state economy.
The Leeds School of Business reported in its 2016 Colorado Business Economic Outlook
that the composite index of expectations of Colorado business leaders has been
positive for 16 consecutive quarters.

Highly Educated Workforce
One of the reasons Denver was ranked as Forbes #1 for business was its highly
educated workforce. Forbes noted that 41.8% of the workforce has college degrees.4

Workers Compensation Insurance and Workplace Injuries and Fatalities
In Colorado, loss costs lost wages and medical expenses from on-the-job injuries
decreased in 2015 and 2016 and were stable in 2014. This was due to a decrease in
workplace injuries. There was an average decrease of 1.9% in 2015 and 2.4% in 2016,5
resulting in lower premiums for that portion of workers compensation insurance.
The number of fatal occupational injuries has decreased significantly in Colorado in
recent years. Despite a growing population and declining unemployment, the number of
fatalities dropped from 82 in 2012 to 75 in 2015 the year after regulated marijuana
sales became legal for adults.6 In the same timeframe, the number of fatal transportation
incidents remained unchanged at 34.


1 Kurt Badenhausen, Denver Leads Forbes' 2015 List Of The Best Places For Business And Careers, Forbes, July

29, 2015; The Best Places For Business And Careers 2016, Forbes
2 http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_27091816/colorado-economy-expected-stay-strong-into-2015
3 Bill Theobald, Colorados economic growth ranks No. 5 in nation, Coloradoan, June 10, 2015.; U.S. Department

of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Colorado


4 The Best Places For Business And Careers 2016, Forbes
5 Colorado Dept. of Regulatory Industries, Average workers' compensation loss cost: Reduction of 2.4 percent,

www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/news/average-workers-compensation-loss-cost-reduction-24-percent
6 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities,

www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/tgs/2015/iiffw08.htm