Marijuana sellers undeterred by threat of federal prosecution

Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2014, has about 35,000 people working in the legal marijuana industry, which generated more than $226 million in state-level taxes last year.

Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY Published 6:16 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2018 | Updated 9:22 p.m. ET Jan. 6, 2018

California, which launched sales Jan. 1, could generate $300 million to $500 million in marijuana taxes this year, cannabis analytics firm New Frontier Data estimates.  

Those numbers are likely to grow. Marijuana entrepreneurs are betting big on the future of their industry, pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into greenhouses and lighting systems, and renting processing warehouses and retail space to sell pot to eager customers.

Lilga said California has invested too much time and energy into its legal marijuana marketplace, which opened Monday, to be deterred by some politicians in far-off Washington, D.C. California, like other states where voters approved recreational pot, has created a comprehensive framework to track and tax every marijuana plant grown and sold under its new law, and ordered cannabis business owners to pay tens of thousands of dollars for licenses.

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Marijuana Legalization