Annual Colorado Marijuana Sales Surpass $1 Billion, Netting More Than $200 Million In Taxes

A close-up of a marijuana plant in the sun
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A new report released by the Colorado Department of Revenue shows that the state surpassed $1 billion in sales of marijuana this year, as of the month of August. According to the Denver Post, the state saw $1,022,245,511 in marijuana sales, netting the state about $200 million in tax revenue.

For comparison, the total marijuana sales last year through the month of August, 2017, came in under $1 billion at $996,357,153. By the end of the year, Colorado saw $1.5 billion in total sales, which include medical and recreational use sales. This year’s numbers mark the first time since the state legalized pot that it has cracked the billion dollar mark so early in the year.

The state released a report showing the shape of the marijuana industry in Colorado. According to the news release, Denver, El Paso, Pueblo, and Boulder counties account for a full 80 percent of sales within the state’s borders, as of June.

The report also notes that the way people consume has been shifting. While flower consumption is steady in the state, edibles, live resin, and concentrates are growing.

“Flower sales remain relatively consistent while edibles and concentrates continue to grow,” the Department of Revenue report said.

Concentrates, in particular, have seen massive growth among users when you combine both medical and recreational use.

“When comparing the first six months of 2017 to the first six months of 2018, the monthly average of units sold (Medical and Adult Use combined) for both edibles and concentrates increased by 13.8% and 94.6% respectively,” the report said. “The monthly average pounds of Adult Use and Medical flower sales to consumers remained relatively consistent, increasing 1.4% in the first six months of 2018 compared to the first six months of 2017.”

At the same time, the cost of pot in the state appears to be declining. The average price for a pound of bud dropped to $759 from $846 during the months of May, June, and July.

“Increased supply of marijuana, marijuana product and marijuana concentrate is believed to be one factor driving down the price of the bud and trim rates. On average, there were an additional 40,656 plants cultivated per month during the first six months of 2018 compared to 2017,” the state’s report said.

Colorado allows for the consumption of marijuana recreationally within the state. It has some of the most liberal laws in the country regarding pot use, allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess one ounce of marijuana, and both residents and tourists can purchase up to 28 grams at a time. The state also allows for consumption in “cannabis clubs” and social lounges.