We have broken the cannabis-monetary barrier again, Colorado – and this number is big. That’s right — $1 BILLION DOLLARS in marijuana purchases were made here in the Sunshine State just in the ten-month period between January and October. The year isn’t even finished and Colorado has already surpassed expectations yet again. I’m very happy to say that I have no idea where this crazy cash flow will end, but I’m happy it’s getting pumped into Colorado’s economy. How exactly did this number come to be? I wonder how the other legal states are doing this year? Let’s find out.
Colorado’s 2016 Cannabis Sales
The actual number, according to the Denver Post, is “nearly $1.1 billion” and that’s not just marijuana, but also marijuana products. In 2015, $996,184,788 was sold; these large numbers make it almost a clincher that the pot taxes from 2016 will be larger than those collected on 2014, 2015, and possibly both years put together. That’s a lot of school money, and it’s a lot of money for the cannabis business owners, as well. At least $63.4 million in marijuana taxes were collected by Colorado state in 2014; $120.6 million were collected in 2015. So far, the taxes collected for 2016 amount to $151.4 million – ‘tis the season for giving, though, so it’s very possible that both November and December could see marijuana and marijuana products sales go over the $16.3 million mark that would add up to the right numbers. Either way, it’s been another exemplary year in the cannabis industry, and with legalization in a few other states coming up next year, we may end up looking back on 2016 as the golden year of cannabis in Colorado.
Well, we know Colorado’s take was outstanding, but how are the other already-legalized-and-selling-cannabis states doing? We know that recreational cannabis has been legalized in Alaska, Washington D.C., California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine, but things are not quite up and running in any of these places yet – they could be anywhere from weeks to years away from the place where customers with state I.D.s can actually just stroll in and purchase recreational weed and cannabis products. There are two states that are hot on the Colorado trail, though: Oregon and Washington.
Oregon’s 2016 Cannabis Sales
Oregon cannabis revenue has exceeded expectations and is more than $50 million so far in 2016. The initial projection was $17 million per year, so that’s been blown completely out of the water…even the highest estimate by the Oregon State Legislative Revenue Office was $10 million lower than what the state has actually brought in. The real number is $54,506,832 as of November 30, 2016. BDS Analytics believes the market was negatively impacted by the new cannabis rules instated in Oregon, but they still made a lot of money. The recreational cannabis taxes, which Oregon also hauled in, go to 40% common school funds; 20% to mental health, alcoholism, and drug services; 15% to state police; 10% to cities for cannabis law enforcement; and 5% to the Oregon Health Authority for the prevention of alcoholism and drug abuse.
Washington’s 2016 Cannabis Sales
Washington state’s sales appear to be about half of what Colorado’s were; they’ve sold more than $1 billion since they legalized recreational cannabis in 2014 – which is nothing to sneeze at. I mean, I wouldn’t sneeze at $500 million, anyhow. Unless it was covered in pollen. Point is, Oregon and Washington are quickly catching up, but it’s possible they lack the cannabis tourism and entrepreneur community that keeps people coming to Colorado. We’ll see how next year goes, right?