Customers shop at Colorado marijuana retailer Emerald Fields in April 2015. (John Leyba, Denver Post file)

Colorado monthly marijuana sales eclipse $100 million in August

Colorado recreational marijuana sales are close to $60 million in August 2015; medical marijuana sales climb slightly

Monthly Colorado marijuana sales have soared past the $100 million mark for the first time, according to the August recreational and medical marijuana sales data from the state Department of Revenue released Friday.

Once again, marijuana sales surpassed the previous month’s numbers with recreational marijuana coming in at $59.2 million and medical marijuana tallying $41.4 million.

The combined $100.6 million in marijuana sales continues the month-to-month record-setting trend for 2015.

Recreational cannabis sales began on Jan. 1, 2014 in Colorado, the first state to launch a retail marijuana program. In that first month, there were $46.9 million in total sales — $14.7 million was recreational, $32.2 million medical. August 2014 marked the first time that recreational sales exceeded medical sales.

There are three types of state taxes on recreational marijuana: the standard 2.9 percent sales tax, a 10 percent special marijuana sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transfers. For August, Colorado collected $11.2 million in recreational taxes and fees and $2.0 million in medical taxes and fees, bringing the 2015 cumulative revenue total to nearly $86.7 million. In 2014, total marijuana revenue was $76.2 million.

Perhaps the most-watched figure in the state’s marijuana tax data is the 15 percent excise tax that is earmarked for school construction projects. In August, that tax brought in $3.3 million, up from $3.1 million in July.

Another state recently joined Colorado and Washington in selling marijuana to adults 21 and older. During Oregon’s first week of legal recreational marijuana sales, which started Oct. 1, retailers sold an estimated $11 million worth of pot.

In contrast, Colorado’s first week of legal sales reached $5 million.

Elizabeth Hernandez: 303-954-1223, ehernandez@denverpost.com or twitter.com/ehernandez



Sales stats for Colorado weed
A month-by-month look comparing sales of recreational and medical marijuana

2015 Recreational total (8 months)
$369,062,012
2015 Medical total (8 months)
$269,979,424
2015: $639,041,436
2014 Recreational total (12 months)
$313,226,353
2014 Medical total (12 months)
$385,972,452
2014: $699,198,805



This story was first published on DenverPost.com