The first 10 months of 2016 proved to be profitable for Colorado’s legal marijuana market as sales have officially surpassed $1 billion. The Colorado Department of Revenue recently released data compiled at the end of October showing $1.1 billion in year-to-date sales. Sales totals at the end of 2015 were reported as being $996,184,788.
Colorado retail marijuana sales have the potential to pass sales totals from 2014 and 2015 combined, according to The Denver Post. Marijuana sales, including recreational and medical combined, reached all-time high numbers in September 2016. By the recently released sales numbers, that means that sales are up 46% this year.
Attorney Christian Sederberg said, “We think we’ll see $1.3 billion in sales revenue this year. And so the economic impact of this industry – if we’re using the same multiplier from the Marijuana Policy Group’s recent report, which is totally reasonable – it suddenly eclipses to a $3 billion economic impact for 2016.”
Sederberg estimates that tax revenues for retail marijuana sales will also surpass those collected in 2014 and 2015 combined. He calls it a “conservative estimate.” Tax revenues collected in 2016 (through October) already total $151.4 million.
Three taxes on retail marijuana sales in Colorado exist. The first is the state’s standard 2.9% sales tax. The second is a “special” 10% sales tax. The last is a 15% excise tax applied to wholesale transfers. The 15% excise tax goes toward school construction projects. The first $40 million excise tax dollars go directly for school construction projects; funds leftover are deposited into the states’ public school fund.
The statistics for November and December are expected to be released in January and February, along with 2016 sales and tax revenue totals.