Colorado Cannabis Sales Reach Nearly Half a Billion Dollars in 5 Months

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By Gage Peake

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After the first five months of the year, Colorado is on pace to reach $1 billion dollars in cannabis sales during 2016. The Colorado Department of Revenue released data Wednesday showing that Colorado cannabis shops reeled in nearly $98.6 million in sales during May, bringing the year-to-date tally for 2016 to just over $486 million.

May’s sales were the fourth-highest monthly total since Colorado began recreational sales in January 2014. Medical sales topped $37.7 million, and recreational cannabis sales ended up being $60.85 million. With all of those receipts, Colorado will be swimming in tax revenue; the state claimed nearly $15 million in cannabis taxes, licenses, and fees.

In April, Colorado set a new sales record with $117.4 million, mostly thanks to the annual 4/20 holiday. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, cannabis shops sold almost $76.6 million in recreational cannabis in April, significantly eclipsing the previous high-water mark of $62.2 million in December 2015.

The record-setting sales also mean a healthy revenue haul for the state. There are three different taxes on Colorado’s recreational cannabis — the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax, a special 10 percent sales tax, and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers, which is earmarked for school construction projects.


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