Business

Marijuana Sales Top $100M in August: How Long Will They Keep Climbing Higher?


We've been reporting about the marijuana policies of presidential candidates, some of whom would like to turn back the clock on legal recreational sales in Colorado and a handful of other states.

But there are plenty of reasons to let Colorado's experiment go forward.

Millions of them, in fact.

In March, recreational marijuana sales topped $42 million, with total cannabis sales exceeding $81 million when the medical marijuana figures were added.

At the time, the retail numbers represented a new record.

Now they look modest in comparison with the latest digits.

New Colorado Department of Revenue data shows $59.2 million in recreational sales and $41.4 from medical marijuana sales during August — a sizable bump from those March figures of five months earlier. Add the sums and you get $100.6 million.

The benefits of such revenue for the Colorado economy are obvious — and counties across the state are doing mighty well, too.

We've included a document featuring the latest tax info below. But here's a graphic revealing how much revenue assorted Colorado counties collected from recreational marijuana sales in August....


...as well as one showing the haul from medical marijuana sales....


...and a third depicting local government distribution of the 10 percent retail marijuana tax.


Note that the totals don't include local taxes placed on marijuana by many municipalities.

Those amounts would boost the figures even higher.

By now, it's clear that those who predicted that marijuana sales would quickly plateau once the novelty of recreational sales wore off could hardly have been further off-base. Coming up on two years since the January 2014 launch of recreational sales, the numbers continue to build.

Meanwhile, local governments have become ever more accustomed to the steadily increasing flow of marijuana tax money — and in all likelihood, even officials who opposed Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational sales in the state, would find it painful to suddenly go cold turkey when it comes to such funds.

Look below to find the document compiling data from marijuana taxes, licenses, fees, transfers and distribution for the month of August 2015.

Colorado Marijuana Tax Figures August 2015



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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts