Article by Nat Berman, Money Inc
Colorado made a lot of money selling marijuana this summer. A new law allowing tourists to buy more marijuana may have helped.
The Colorado Department of Revenue reported on Wednesday that the state’s marijuana sales hit an all-time high in August 2016. Legal stores sold $126 million in recreational and medical marijuana last August. This milestone broke the monthly sales record of $122.67 million set in July 2016, which was already a increase of 27 percent from July 2015.
Economist and founding partner of the Marijuana Policy group, Adam Orens, implied that the increased influx of tourists, warm summer weather, and vacation-oriented atmosphere attributed to the record-breaking sales numbers in July 2016.
“That’s when I think more people — Colorado residents plus tourists — people are just out and about,” Mr. Orens said to The Cannabist. “There are backyard parties, it’s events of all different kinds, concerts, festivals. I believe it drives more people to consume more alcohol and marijuana.”
December saw the highest marijuana sales numbers in 2015 hitting a then record breaking $62.6 million. July, August, and September 2015 welcomed the highest sales numbers without counting December.
This June, however, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 1261 into law that allowed both residents and tourists in the state to buy one ounce of marijuana a day. Prior to this law, tourists were only allowed to buy a quarter-ounce of cannabis.
The Department of revenue reported that in August 2016 $84.7 million of recreational marijuana was sold and $41.4 million in medical marijuana was sold to total the entire record-breaking month’s revenue. These numbers are a considerable jump from August 2015 when $59.2 million of recreational products were sold, and medical sales hit $41.4 million.
Through August, Colorado legal marijuana sales have reached $846.5 million this year. The state has collected $124.9 million of tax revenue from this amount to fund educational capital construction grants and health programs.