(Joe Amon, Denver Post file)

Tax update: May sales for Colorado recreational pot down slightly at $21M

Colorado sold less recreational pot in May than in April, the first month-to-month sales decline for the drug that became legal at the beginning of the year.

Tax collections recently reported by the state Department of Revenue showed $21 million in Colorado recreational pot sales in May. That was down slightly from April, when the 4/20 marijuana holiday was credited in part for a boost in recreational sales to $22 million.

Despite the lower sales numbers, Colorado’s pot tax haul increased in May because of an excise tax that is being phased in. Collections of that 15 percent tax, which pays for school construction, rose from $734,000 in April to $1.1 million in May. Sales taxes collected on other items sold by marijuana shops also rose slightly.

Ring ’em up: Get more coverage on Colorado’s marijuana taxes and sales of recreational weed

Including licensing fees and medical marijuana taxes, Colorado collected about $5.7 million from marijuana in May. The state has collected a total of $34.9 million from all marijuana taxes, fees and licenses since recreational sales became legal in January.

Recreational pot is taxed at a much higher rate than medical pot, which is subject only to state and local sales taxes.

Marijuana sold for recreational use has an extra 10 percent sales tax to pay for pot regulation and consumer education such as don’t-smoke-and-drive campaigns, as well as the 15 percent excise tax.

Six Months In:
A special report from The Cannabist

$202 million in pot sales?! 10 Colorado facts from six months into 2014

Is that really a thing? 10 strange but true stories as ganjapreneurs leap into cannabis market

Big changes ahead: Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry started a transformation July 1 that could add hundreds of new pot businesses to the state and reconfigure the market’s architecture

Listen to the NPR audio: What has Colo. learned from its legal pot sales?

Watch: Colo. Gov. John Hickenlooper, veteran broadcaster Katie Couric talk marijuana in Aspen on July 1, the six-month anniversary of legal recreational pot sales in the state

This story was first published on DenverPost.com