Colorado sees nearly a billion dollars in 2015 legal cannabis sales


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$996,184,788. That’s the magic number for 2015, representing the value of all the cannabis — both medical and recreational — that was purchased in Colorado in year two of retail sales, and comes courtesy of new data from the state Department of Revenue. Marijuana attorney Christian Sederberg told The Cannabist upon hearing the figure: “I think it’s ethical to round that up to a billion.”

For those who love to geek out on weed math, here’s how it all breaks down:

Around $588 million of the total came from recreational side, $408 million from medical.

Recreational sales generated more than $113 million in revenue for the state in 2015 — $109.1 million from taxes and $4.7 million in license and application fees.

Medical sales generated over 21 million in revenue. The state made $11.4 million off taxes and $9.8 million off license and application fees.

The 2015 sales in our regulated marijuana marketplace made nearly a $300 million dollar jump from 2014, when the state generated $76.1 million in total revenue ($56.2 million from recreational and $19.9 from medical, if you’re still keeping track).

Remember that Colorado sets aside the first $40 million raised from the excise tax on wholesale transfers of recreational marijuana for public school construction. The rest of the revenue to the state will go toward prevention of youth drug use, addiction treatment, research and public education campaigns.

“Just six years ago, Colorado received zero dollars in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana in the state,” Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project commented in a triumphant press release noting that millions of dollars in sales occur in every state. “Colorado is one of the few where those sales are being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses.”

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