The summer of 2016 turned out to be quite lucrative for Colorado’s marijuana industry.
Legal marijuana shops tallied up $126 million in medical and recreational cannabis sales in August, setting a new monthly record, according to Colorado Department of Revenue data made public Wednesday. The young industry’s previous monthly high was set just a month before, with $122.67 million of revenue in July.
More on Colorado marijuana sales, taxes
Weed news and interviews: Get podcasts of The Cannabist Show.
Subscribe to our newsletter here.
Watch The Cannabist Show.
Peruse our Cannabist-themed merchandise (T’s, hats, hoodies) at Cannabist Shop.
At that time, economist Adam Orens, with BBC Research and the Marijuana Policy Group, attributed the sales surge to a seasonal spike:
“That’s when I think more people — Colorado residents plus tourists — people are just out and about,” he said. “There are backyard parties, it’s events of all different kinds, concerts, festivals. I believe it drives more people to consume more alcohol and marijuana.”
Last year told a similar tale. Aside from December, the biggest revenue months for marijuana were July, August and September.
New this year, however, was the implementation of a state law that increased the daily purchase limit for non-residents to one ounce from a quarter-ounce.
August 2016’s $126 million sales consisted of $84.7 million in recreational sales and $41.4 million in medical sales. In August 2015, recreational flower, edibles and concentrates totaled $59.2 million and medical sales were $41.4 million for $100.6 million in monthly revenue.
Through August, Colorado’s marijuana industry has recorded just shy of $846.5 million in sales, resulting in tax revenue of roughly $124.9 million for state funds such as educational capital construction grants and health programs. Comparatively, revenue for the first eight months of 2015 was just over $639 million, with tax revenue totaling more than $86 million, according to state data.
In all of 2014, the first year for legal adult-use sales, the industry’s sales and the resulting state tax revenue totaled $699.2 million and $76.2 million, respectively.