Colorado Continues to Pull in MIllions in Taxes from Recreational and Medical Pot Sales


Colorado has had legal adult sales of cannabis for just shy of 11 months now and tax figures are showing that locals and visitors love spending cash on cannabis.
Medical marijuana patients paid more than $31.3 million for ganga and ganja-infused product in September, netting the state $908,630 in taxes. Recreational sales were at just over $30.5 million during the same period, which means that MMJ sales outpaced recreational sales that month. In fact, sales of recreational pot dropped in September, down about $2.4 million from August. Denver saw the lion’s share of recreational sales, with $14,491,206 sold in September.

Recreational sales accounted for $3,827,261 in tax revenue going to the state, bringing the total for the year for recreational pot to more than $25 million. The state also collects a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale recreational cannabis sales from shop to shop or from a grow to a shop, with the first $40 million going to public-school construction funds.
According to state data, there was $9,640,700 in wholesale transfers during September, netting Colorado about $1.44 million in tax. Since recreational sales began in January, the state has collected about $8.2 million in excise tax; independent grow facilities were not allowed to begin operating until October.
The decrease in recreational pot sales from August to September mirrors a traditional drop in visitors between the peak summer visits and the season between early fall and December, when ski tourism starts to increase. But a drop in tourism doesn’t explain a decrease in medical pot sales. Although the number of licensed patients increased by 577 between August and September — to 116,287 purple-card holders — MMJ sales dipped by $937,138 over the same period. That could be explained by the fact that between July and September, the number of patients who designated a medical marijuana center or caregiver went from 53 percent to 49 percent (historically, a strong majority has gone for dispensaries); more people might be growing their own.