Colorado pulled in more than $125 million in total recreational and medical marijuana sales during April.
Marijuana sales in Colorado have now topped $100 million for the 11th month in a row. According to recently published taxes and fees data, Colorado shops sold $125.2 million in medical and recreational marijuana in the month of April.
Recreational marijuana sales accounted for nearly $88.5 million of the total, while medical marijuana sales totaled about $36.9 million, according to calculations made by The Cannabist.
The state’s cannabis industry has brought in close to $492 million in the first four months of the year, a 27 percent increase from the $388 million in sales through April in 2016. This year’s sales have already generated more than $76.3 million in revenue for the state through taxes and fees, per data provided by the Colorado Department of Revenue. The best month to date for the state’s market was March 2017, which boasted sales of $131.7 million.
“The year-over-year rates of growth have continued at a steady pace, which to me indicates that we have not yet reached the point at which we are starting to cap out the market,” said Andrew Livingston, director of economists for cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg.
Total marijuana sales in Colorado are on track to reach nearly $1.5 billion in sales this year, up from $1.3 billion in 2016, when the state netted about $199 million in tax revenue. State lawmakers just recently approved a bill to raise sales tax on retail marijuana sales from 10 percent to 15 percent to fund additional transportation, school, and hospital projects. Marijuana taxes also go to house and feed the homeless community and to help curb school bullying,
Colorado is the first U.S. state to legalize and implement a recreational marijuana market. The state’s marijuana industry has been steadily growing since 2014 when adult use retail sales began. The monthly streak of selling more than $100 million in marijuana is particularly impressive considering retail prices have continued to fall since legal sales began. Under the law, adults 21 years and older can legally buy and possess up to 1 ounce of dried cannabis.
Economist and analysts told The Cannabist that they expect Colorado’s marijuana market to eventually top out, especially as legalization expands to more states. Nationally, however, the industry is expected to continue its significant growth. Eleven states passed recreational or medical legalization measures last year alone and several have programs that are expected to launch in the coming months. Market analysts are predicting that the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana could expand to all 50 U.S. states by 2021.
The legal marijuana nationwide is valued at $6.7 billion and is projected to grow to $22.6 billion by 2021. As of now, a total of eight U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, and 29 states, including Colorado, have legalized recreational marijuana. The nation’s marijuana industry is expected to make a $70 billion economic impact by 2021.