Since the start of recreational sales in 2014, Coloradans have spent more than $9.9 billion on medical and recreational cannabis. While the global pandemic has caused thousands of businesses to close, the cannabis market has seen positive effects. In Colorado, cannabis sales have reached recording-breaking heights in 2020.
Colorado Cannabis Sales Increase 25% From 2019
According to the Department of Revenue’s (DOF) Marijuana Sales Historical Report, the state’s revenues reached $2.19 billion in 2020. That’s a 25.35% increase from 2019 and marks the first time sales topped $2 billion since the DOF began tracking them in 2014.
A third of the sales were made in Denver, reports Fox.
Westworld may have predicted a loss in weed sales due to the pandemic, which stunted tourism. In reality, however, sales reached new heights.
June 2020 alone brought in $199 million in sales, and July was responsible for $226.3 million.
That’s more profit in just two months from cannabis sales than football stars Tom Brady or Drew Brees have made in their entire 20 season careers.
$387.5 Million in Tax Revenue…
Those numbers are certainly big, but not necessarily surprising, due to the state’s hefty taxes.
Customers are charged a 2.9% sales tax and a 15% retail sales tax on all cannabis sales in Colorado. In addition, the state imposes a 15% excise tax on wholesalers. Municipalities may also add local sales taxes reaching heights upwards of 20%.
These taxes alone result in almost $387.5 million in revenue.
State laws require that revenue be allocated to local government and education, transportation, and cannabis cash tax funds.
In 2017, for example, the city of Aurora put $900,000 of cannabis taxes towards renovating an old Police Department into a homeless shelter.
Further, in 2020, Pueblo County announced a scholarship program that would award an estimated $2.3 million of local students.
“The industry has partnered with regulators to do things the right way in Colorado. This state continues to be a leader in regulated cannabis, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, Truman Bradley told the Colorado Sun. “As we emerge from the pandemic and revenues stabilize, it’s important we see those programs continue to receive funding,” he said.