Monthly sales of recreational cannabis have reached new heights in Colorado last June after posting $50 million in revenue for the first time since the substance was legalized.
According to the latest data from the Colorado Department of Revenue, this was the largest month-over-month increase for the industry, jumping more than $7.6 million from May to June. Similarly, medical marijuana also added $2.8 million of revenue last June, posting an annual high of $35.2 million.
The sudden spike in sales seems to be brought about by the state’s peak tourism season of summer and winter.
“It might be too early to say for sure that there’re these patterns, but you can explain some of them if you think about the winter sport tourism or summer tourism,” said Colorado state senator Pat Steadman.
However, he thinks that the June numbers serve as a milestone for the whole marijuana industry since Colorado has the first legal marijuana program that can now be studied for trends in the last 18 consecutive months.
“I think we’re going to start seeing some more predictability,” Steadman said. “From this point forward, we’ll have data that shows us clearer trends around sales volumes and tax data, and that’s important.”
Colorado also collected around $9 million in recreational taxes and fees and $1.85 million in medical taxes and fees for June alone. After all, the state has imposed three types of taxes on recreational weed: the standard 2.9 percent sales tax, a 15 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transfers, and a 10 percent special marijuana sales tax. This has brought the state’s cumulative pot revenue for 2015 to a total of $60.7 million.
The excise tax is being used for funding school construction projects, and this has amounted to $16.6 million in the first half of 2015. Though the figures continue to fluctuate month per month, Steadman does not see this as a cause for concern.
“The excise tax is collected at the point when it’s transferred from cultivation to retail, so if you have several big growers harvesting in the same month, you’ll get more excise tax that month,” Steadman said. “It depends on when people make those transfers and what their growing cycles are, so you can’t read too much into that.”
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