(Hyoung Chang, Denver Post file)

Colorado marijuana tax revenues total $3.2 million in February

Tax revenues from Colorado’s medical and recreational marijuana sales in February increased from the previous month, according to figures released Wednesday by the state.

Colorado collected $3.2 million in February, below the state’s projection of $3.7 million, but slightly above above the $2.9 million it gathered in January.

In February, Colorado collected $1.43 million from a special 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, plus another $438,253 from the state’s standard 2.9 percent sales tax.

The 2.9 percent sales tax on medical marijuana produced revenues of $1.022 million in February, an increase from the $913,519 collected in January and far above the $791,000 the state had projected in February.

Conversely, the state projected that the 15 percent excise tax on the sale of recreational marijuana would bring in $739,330 — the actual total was $339,615, 54 percent below expectations. The 15 percent excise tax produced $195,318 in January.

Related: Gov. Hickenlooper dialing back Colorado pot tax spending plan by $20 million

As was the case in January, Denver County generated the largest amount of tax revenue, with the 2.9 percent sales tax on medical marijuana totalling $483,432. The 2.9 percent tax on retail pot brought in $245,709, with the 10 percent sales tax adding another $710,930.

Just a few months in to first year of legalized recreational marijuana sales, finding certainty when it comes to pot revenues has proved to be elusive. In February, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s budget office predicted tax and fee revenues from marijuana would total about $134 million in the next fiscal year; however, a month later, the state’s Legislative Council said the total would be half as much.

The Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee on Tuesday pledged to craft a bill that would force the state to wait until it had actual figures before spending the revenues from marijuana.

This story was first published on DenverPost.com