Colorado’s recreational marijuana shops racked up more than $14 million in sales during January, according to first-of-its-kind data on the nation’s nascent retail cannabis industry.
The state’s revenue department announced Monday that it collected nearly $417,000 in standard retail sales tax from transactions at recreational marijuana stores in January. That amounts to about $14.4 million in sales.
Should January turn out to be a typical month, then Colorado can expect to see $173 million in recreational retail cannabis transactions for the year.
The rise of the recreational industry apparently hasn’t made a dent on the medical side of the industry. Colorado’s MMJ dispensaries generated $31.5 million in January, coming in around the monthly average.
Combined, Colorado’s marijuana industry reported $45 million in sales to patients and consumers, putting it on pace to exceed $540 million in 2014.
The actual totals could be much larger, considering that only a couple dozen recreational stores were open in January. Many experts – as well as Colorado’s governor – project that recreational sales will rise significantly as the year progresses. More than 100 additional shops could launch in the coming months, which will increase access dramatically.
The first recreational stores in the nation opened in Colorado on Jan. 1 and were met with huge lines. The state said 24 shops received approval to open on that date.
Sales have remained strong since then as other retail shops have opened (59 stores filed a tax return for the month of January).
The state said it should have a better idea of revenue patterns by April.
In total, Colorado collected more than $2 million in taxes from the recreational marijuana industry alone in January, which includes the standard 2.9% retail tax, a special 10% additional tax on marijuana sales and a 15% excise tax. It also collected $96,000 in application and licensing fees.
When including medical marijuana, Colorado garnered $3.5 million in state taxes and fees from the cannabis industry.