Legal marijuana is a bona fide billion-dollar industry in Colorado. And it’s hitting the mark faster than ever.
In 2017, Colorado eclipsed $1 billion in marijuana sales in eight months; in 2016, it took 10 months.
Colorado’s marijuana retailers logged upward of $1.02 billion in collective medical and recreational sales through August, according to The Cannabist’s extrapolations of state tax data released Wednesday. Year-to-date sales are up 21 percent from the first eight months of 2016, when recreational and medical marijuana sales totaled $846.5 million.
During the month of August, sales of flower, edibles, concentrates and accessories were nearly $137 million — $100.3 million from recreational cannabis sales and $36.5 million from medical marijuana — according to The Cannabist’s calculations.
The Colorado Department of Revenue’s latest report lists marijuana taxes, licenses and fees remitted in September. The receipts largely reflect sales made in August but have the potential to vary because of incomplete or late returns from prior months.
The monthly tax data now comes with some additional stipulations. It’s the second full month in which marijuana sales have been subject to a different taxing structure, and the reports reflect a “period of transition,” DOR officials say.