Prices for cannabis concentrates are on display at the Colfax Pot Shop, a recreational marijuana shop located in Denver. (Vince Chandler, The Denver Post)

Colorado marijuana shops sell nearly $600 million of weed in first half of 2016

As Colorado's monthly marijuana sales eclipse the $110 million mark for only the second time, analysts predict a $1.35 billion finish for 2016

Colorado marijuana shops sold nearly $600 million of recreational and medical cannabis and related products in the first half of 2016, new Department of Revenue data show.

And a prominent cannabis industry analyst says the sales are on pace to reach $1.35 billion by year’s end.

The state’s marijuana tax data for June 2016 shows near-record highs for Colorado’s recreational and medical cannabis markets.

June’s $73.6 million in recreational marijuana sales marks the second-busiest month for the state’s cannabis stores, according to Cannabist calculations. A few months earlier in April 2016, home to the 4/20 holiday, retail sales totaled more than $76.5 million.

The $38.1 million worth of medical marijuana sold in June ranks in the top six most lucrative months of medical pot sales since the recreational era began in January 2014.

While Colorado cannabis sales totaled $996 million in 2015, this year’s totals are on pace to reach $1.35 billion, according to BDS Analytics, which collects data from dispensaries’ point-of-sale systems.

“The rate of growth in this industry never ceases to astound us,” said BDS Analytics founder and CEO Roy Bingham. “The combined recreational and medical markets are more than two years old, yet they both continue to expand rapidly — especially the recreational marketplace. And within the overall market, sales in every segment, from concentrates to flower to edibles, continue to swell.”

The sale of marijuana concentrates and extracts drove much of the market’s growth in June, according to BDS data. Extracts represented a 24 percent share of total sales in the state, a 73 percent rise from June 2015. Edibles also saw a year-over-year increase, commanding a 13 percent share as flower sales dropped slightly to a 56 percent share, BDS data show.

There are three different taxes on Colorado’s recreational cannabis — the standard 2.9 percent state sales tax, a special 10 percent sales tax and a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale transfers, which is earmarked for school construction projects. The $5.4 million collected in June excise tax brings the yearly total to $26.6 million.

Through the first six months of 2016, Colorado has amassed more than $88 million in taxes and fees for medical and recreational cannabis.



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

2016 Recreational total (6 months)
$381,180,972
2016 Medical total (6 months)
$216,554,185
2016: $597,735,157
2015 Recreational total (12 months)
$587,834,219
2015 Medical total (12 months)
$408,350,569
2015: $996,184,788