In August, recreational cannabis sales outpaced medical sales in Colorado for the second month in a row, with rec topping medical by about $730,000 en route to total sales of $32,999,068. All told, the state saw more than $65 million in pot sold in August. That beat the old record by about $4 million.
From those sales, the state collected $935,807 in medical pot sales taxes and $4.26 million in recreational pot sales tax in August. That brings the total sales tax revenue from recreational sales to more than $22 million so far this year.
August also saw a slight increase in monthly excise taxes on bulk sales from dispensary to dispensary, with $1.46 million collected. That means about $6.8 million has been earmarked for public-school building construction so far. And excise tax numbers should rise again in October, the first month that wholesale grow operations have been allowed to operate independently of dispensaries.
The increase in recreational pot sales can be partly attributed to the growing number of recreational shops being licensed -- and also to tourism during the summer, the peak time for out-of-state visits. But tourism doesn't account for the increase in medical pot sales: There were 3,906 more medical marijuana patients in August than there were in July. According to the Department of Public Health and Environment statistics, Colorado had 115,710 registered medical marijuana patients in August. The highest number on the registry this year was in April, with 116,180 patients.
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Of the new patients added in August, 55 were minors -- bringing the total of kids under eighteen on the registry to 406. That number has steadily risen since this time last year, when there were just sixty under-eighteen patients, in part because of an August 2013 medical marijuana special on CNN that focused on pediatric cannabis use.
Other statistics remained static. One-third of all medical marijuana patients are women, and the average age for all patients is 42. In addition, 58 percent of patients have designated a primary caregiver or a dispensary to grow for them, with the majority of those opting for a dispensary over a private grower.
The CDPHE also began issuing new medical marijuana registry cards in August. The new ID is credit card-sized and officials say the durable plastic will reduce the time spent on replacing the old paper-based Red Cards. The new cards have also dropped the red color from the design, with officials opting for "purple mountain hues."