Colorado marijuana sales sky-rocketed to a record-setting $996 Million, with the grand total tallied at the end of December 2015.
Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold exactly $996,184,788 worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to new data from the state Department of Revenue.
“I think it’s ethical to round that up to a billion,” cannabis industry attorney Christian Sederberg said Tuesday upon first hearing the 2015 totals.
“It’s remarkable that less than seven years ago, all of that money was being spent in the underground market,” said Mason Tvert, the Marijuana Policy Project’s communications director.
“Clearly there’s a large demand for marijuana, and we’re now seeing that demand being met by legitimate businesses that are answering to authorities instead of criminals who answer to nobody,” Tvert said.
Adding to the virtual $1 Billion in revenue from cannabis sales, the State of Colorado also collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015. More than $35 million of that is being put toward school construction projects.
“These are amazing numbers,” said attorney Steve Fox, one of the principal drafters of Colorado’s pot-legalizing Amendment 64, “especially on the tax revenue side.”
Colorado released marijuana tax data for December 2015 on Tuesday, showing a major spike in month-over-month sales.
Medical sales jumped more than 32 percent in the same period, totaling $39.1 million.
The data on Colorado marijuana sales and taxes ended months of speculation surrounding the 2015 totals, which some believed would top $1 billion.
Even though sales didn’t reach that lofty mark, advocates of marijuana legalization are still content with the 2015 totals.
Colorado’s 2015 marijuana tax and sales totals tell a story of implementation and growth. While the state’s pot shops sold more than$699 million of cannabis in 2014, they moved more than $996 million in 2015 — a year when more pot shops opened, more municipalities started allowing these businesses and more customers found their way into the regulated market.