For the first time, Colorado’s recreational marijuana sales reached a total of $50 million in one month. The figures for June 2015 also saw the largest recorded month-to-month increases, which support 2014 trends of increased cannabis sales during the state’s tourist season.
State Senator Pat Steadman said that the correlation “wouldn’t surprise” him. He went on to say that, though it might be too early to identify patterns with certainty, it makes sense that winter and summer tourism play a role as well as other major events such as weddings, vacations and graduations. Sen. Steadman reported,
“It’s a lifestyle thing.”
From May to June, cannabis sales increased by over $7.6 million and reached a grand total of $50.1 million, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue’s data. Additionally, medicinal sales of marijuana products increased in June by $2.8 million. Medical marijuana sales totaled $35.2 million, which is another monthly record for 2015. The state government taxes recreational and medical cannabis, so Colorado’s tax revenue is also benefiting from the sales spike.
Colorado imposes three types of tax on recreational cannabis: a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers, a 2.6 percent sales tax and a 10 percent special cannabis sales tax. This means in June the state brought in $9 million in recreational marijuana taxes with an added $1.85 million in medical taxation. So far in 2015, Colorado has collected $60.7 million in cannabis taxes.
The excise tax, which funnels directly into school construction projects, decreased from $3.5 million in May to $2.9 million in June. However, Sen. Steadman stated,
“The excise tax is collected at the point when it’s transferred from the cultivation to the retail. . . .It depends on when people make those transfers and what their growing cycles are, so you can’t read too much into that.”
In 2014, the school tax collected $13.3 million in total, but 2015 has already seen a significant increase. In the first six months of the year, the excise tax alone brought in $16.6 million.