Colorado Cannabis Shops Hit $1-Billion In Sales

To say it’s been a fruitful 10 months for Colorado’s cannabis industry would be a serious understatement.

The Cannabist reports that in the first 10 months of 2016, Colorado’s cannabis shops reached $1-billion in legal, regulated marijuana sales.

Recreational and medical stores in the state have sold almost $1.1-billion of cannabis and related products this year, according to new data from the state’s Department of Revenue.

In February, when 2015’s year-end cannabis tax data was released, The Cannabist reported $996,184,788 in sales at Colorado cannabis shops that year. This prompted leading industry attorney Christian Sederberg to declare: “I think it’s ethical to round that up to a billion.”

This week, Sederberg said “we think we’ll see $1.3-billion in sales revenue this year… and so the economic impact of this industry - if we’re using the same multiplier from the Marijuana Policy Group’s recent report, which is totally reasonable - it suddenly eclipses a $3 billion economic impact for 2016.”

Sederberg and his colleague Andrew Livingston also estimated that this year’s overall tax totals will come out to more than 2014 and 2015 tax totals combined. Not taking into account businesses’ licensing fees, $63.4-million in cannabis taxes were collected by the state in 2014, followed by $120.6-million in 2015. Taxes in 2016 through October sat at $151.4-million, meaning November and December would have to top $16.3-million each to come out on top of the last two years’ totals combined.

The tax data for November will be reported in January, and the December numbers – along with the year-end totals for 2016 – will be released in February.

h/t The Cannabist.

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For cannabis enthusiasts living in adult use states, long gone are the days of sneaking around with a dime bag in a coat pocket and worrying about whether the neighbors know you’ve got weed. But the sad truth is that, for millions of Americans living in prohibition or restrictive medical-only states, accessing safe and regulated cannabis is still a problem. But does that mean that those living without access to the regulated market are abstaining from cannabis altogether?

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