(Kathryn Scott Osler, Denver Post file)

Colorado pot taxes, sales hold steady in October

The Colorado pot taxes raised by the sale of legal marijuana held steady in the month of October, according to new data from the Department of Revenue.

October’s tax numbers look a lot like they did in September, and the correlated month-over-month marijuana sales estimates are also close — showing a robust medical cannabis market outselling a seasonally plateaued recreational pot market for a second consecutive month.

Colorado’s retailers sold $31,674,571 in recreational marijuana in October — up minutely from September’s retail sales of $31,626,965. But the state’s medical market flexed its strength in October with sales totaling $33,103,769 — up from $32,401,312 in September.

“I doubt that it’s a recreational plateau,” said Marijuana Industry Group executive director Mike Elliott.

Denver pot tourism guide: Useful info for toking travelers

But Rhett Jordan, owner of the six-shop Native Roots Apothecary chain, wonders if it’s a temporary plateau — one driven by tourism and usage trends.

“Tourism falls off in August, and recreational sales are based on tourism,” said Jordan. “For us, it could be a mixture of all of it. It could be that we’ve hit the temporary plateau for recreational sales as far as people’s awareness of the product. The usage is still going up, so eventually these numbers will continue to rise.”

What does Jordan think about the state’s strong medical marijuana sales?

“That’s predictable,” Jordan said. “The new, in-state users who came on board have got the wiser and have started to get their medical cards now so they can save money. Medical marijuana in Colorado is more logical for the in-state resident, based on the fact that a majority of the users have some kind of medical condition or pain.”

Through all of this, the overall pot taxes are adding up. Since Jan. 1, Colorado has brought in more than $60.1 million in taxes, licenses and fees for recreational and medical marijuana.