Results demonstrate significant economic impacts

March 6, 2018- Durango, Colorado – Local First released a study today that details the economic impacts of the cannabis industry in La Plata County. The study was supported by many of the local, independent cannabis businesses as well as other non-profit partners. The full report, which can be found online at www.local-first/resources was completed by a 3rd party consultant, Donna Graves, who has completed many similar economic studies in the region.

The study finds that $27.7 million in legal marijuana sales in La Plata County generated $36.9 million in economic output, supported an estimated 351 jobs resulting in $14.8 million in labor income in 2016. The study also found that the cannabis industry in La Plata County produced significant, and growing, revenues for state and local governments in 2015 – 2017, including $4.6 million in sales tax revenues and $658,000 in licenses and fees, totaling $5.2 million in revenues during that time period.

“Local First is pleased to share the results of this study with the business community and decision makers so that we can better understand the economic contributions of the cannabis industry in La Plata County,” said Tim Wheeler, Board Chair of Local First. “The cannabis industry truly represents a homegrown industry with no economic leakage across state lines, thereby optimizing economic return in our community.”

“Cannabis related businesses in La Plata County are an integral part of the community – not only do we provide support to the economy, especially in hard times like this winter – we also give back to the community whenever we can,” said Jonny Radding, Founder and Co-owner of Durango Organics.

“Our goal is to stay in Durango, and contribute to our local economy in La Plata County. However, if permitting fees and other taxes continue to increase, we may have to look at doing business elsewhere,” said Luke Mason, founder and co-owner of Aurum Labs.

This study was a first step in quantifying the economic impacts of the cannabis industry in La Plata County. Additional work is needed to continue to understand both the economic impacts of the industry as well as the steps that local governments can take to provide a conducive business environment to a growing industry that continues to provide positive economic benefits.  

The study was sponsored by Durango Organics, Aurum Labs, The Greenery, Durango Cannabis Company, Sweet CO2 Oil, the Southwest Colorado Small Business Development Center, and Sante.


Local First is a mission-based non-profit working to provide locally-owned, independent businesses and organizations opportunities to thrive as we work together to build an economy that values people, the planet, and prosperity for everyone.