In a month when the phrase “greater enforcement” was uttered by the Trump administration in relation to marijuana, Colorado’s cannabis sales continued their surge.
In February, licensed shops brought in nearly $126.1 million in sales, with more than $86.4 million in recreational revenue and $39.6 million in medical marijuana revenue. It’s the third-highest monthly sales total in Colorado’s recreational marijuana era, according to The Cannabist’s calculations of Colorado Department of Revenue data made public Tuesday.
The February 2017 sales total was 15 percent higher than January’s $109 million in sales and up nearly 36 percent from February 2016, according to historical sales data. The state collected roughly $17.5 million in taxes and fees for the month.
It’s the ninth consecutive month in which sales have topped $100 million.
As Colorado’s cannabis industry continues its current — and expected — trajectory, it’s doing so in the midst of a metamorphosis of North America’s marijuana legalization landscape.
In the wake of the 2016 election, several states — notably the colossal California — are implementing new medical and recreational marijuana programs; Canada is preparing to advance national legislation legalizing adult use and regulated sales; Congress members have introduced a spate of bills targeting aspects of federal marijuana law.
Concurrently, the Trump administration and new Attorney General Jeff Sessions have started to broach the topic of marijuana-related enforcement. Sean Spicer, the White House’s spokesman, said on Feb. 23 that recreational marijuana states could be seeing “greater enforcement.”
Regardless of any change in federal policy, economists have said they expect Colorado’s cannabis sales to start slowing by 2018.