Cannabis sales have been steadily increasing for years in Colorado, but now the numbers have really broken the bank, as sales in 2019 hit $1.75 billion.
According to The Denver Post and recent data gathered by the Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Division, 2019 was the best year so far for cannabis revenue gain in Colorado. Sales are up 13 percent from 2018, and cannabis tax collections came in at more than $302 million last year alone.
Of all the months in 2019, the highest sales were recorded in August, ringing in at $173 million. December was close behind with $144 million, 6.7 percent more than December of 2018. In total, cannabis sales in Colorado have reached $7.79 billion since recreational legalization. Since January of 2014, the industry has generated $1.21 billion in taxes.
“People are moving from the unregulated market to the regulated market,” said Truman Bradley, the newly appointed executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, regarding the revenue increase in Colorado cannabis. “As reefer madness goes away, as the stigmatism of cannabis reduces and people come over to the regulated market, I would expect that trend to continue.”
Taxes in Colorado go to the public education fund which helps to build schools, the state general fund for agencies in need of financial support, the marijuana tax fund for substance abuse programs, and even the local government.
As a pioneer in the world of legal cannabis, lawmakers and advocates in Colorado have helped pave the way for the industry’s future, and is now embracing social consumption as well. In light of the revenue being collected, the state is also trying to improve how cannabis businesses operate with local banks so that revenue can continue to increase.