Marijuana expo draws thousands to Denver

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DENVER — More than 5,000 people packed the Denver Mart this weekend for the Indo Expo’s fifth cannabis trade show.

The show has more than doubled in size since it first came to Denver.

“It used to be a hometown show and now we’re seeing people from all over the world,” Indo Expo creator Chris Olson said.

Black Dog LED lights, a Colorado-based company, has been shining its lights at the expo since it started. It’s also seen business expand exponentially.

“That is insane,” CEO Noah Miller said. “I guess it would be about 1,000 percent.”

A lot of that growth is because states are legalizing marijuana. In fact, 29 allow cannabis in some form and that number could grow this year.

To help feed that growth, the marijuana industry has had to grow, too.

Gro Dan has expanded its business by about 30 percent because of cannabis. It originally started making artificial soil for tomatoes 60 years ago. Now it makes them for marijuana, too.

“It’s a little bit like being a Jedi master and going to the dark side,” Gro Dan’s Armando Suarez said. “It’s natural. Both of them are plants.”

Many of the vendors call Colorado home.

Cannabis accounts for almost 35,000 jobs in the state, plus more than $600 million in tax revenue in the past four years.

It’s certainly not without its critics though. They blame legal marijuana for increasing crime and teenage consumption.

“It’s Pandora’ box,” Miller said. “It’s open. It’s here to stay.”

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