Legal marijuana is an almost $1 billion industry in Colorado, in the U.S. according to data released by Colorado Department of Revenue.

According to the 2015 marijuana tax statistics published by Colarado’s Department of Revenue, the state’s recreational and medical marijuana sales totalled $996,184,788, according to calculations by the Denver Post.

The Cannabis Business Alliance reportedly said the sales have contributed $135 million in taxes, $35 million of which will be used in the construction of schools.

The debate on the legalisation of marijuana and hemp has been a fervent one in various African countries, prompting the question: is a legal and regulated marijuana industry a feasible and good idea?

Researchers found marijuana to be the least deadly of seven drugs tested, including alcohol and tobacco. Photo: Huffington Post

Researchers found marijuana to be the least deadly of seven drugs tested, including alcohol and tobacco. Photo: Huffington Post

The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) has noted that cannabis production in Africa is reported from practically every country. In its 2009 report, Cannabis in Africa, the UNODC says, “highest levels of cannabis production in the world take place on the African continent”.

Last year, the government of Malawi approved plans to legally grow industrial hemp for export on a trial basis.

Industrial hemp refers to, “the non-psychoactive (less than 1% THC) varieties of Cannabis Sativa L. Both hemp and marijuana come from the same cannabis species, but are genetically distinct and are further distinguished by use, chemical makeup, and cultivation methods”.

The approval of hemp production ignited debate in Malawi because of the crop’s close relationship with marijuana.

Some government officials in Swaziland have called on the government to legalise dagga to boost the economy. The National Commissioner of Police Isaac Magagula, has previously called on the government to do a study to establish the “desirability or otherwise of legalising the drug”.

Source: Huffington Post