Dispensaries throughout Colorado sold $1.3 billion worth of medical and recreational marijuana in 2016, Cannabist reports. That is up from $996.2 million in 2015 and $699.2 million in 2014.
Of that total, calculated from tax data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue Thursday, $875 million came from recreational marijuana, with the other $438 million from medical sales. The $1.3 billion total generated approximately $199 million in tax revenue for the state.
Experts warn the weed boom in Colorado could be plateauing soon though, with other states moving to legalize. “Colorado has had a really good run, being the first mover,” Miles Light, an economist with the Marijuana Policy Group, told Cannabist. “Now, as other states legalize, some of these external benefits that are occurring are going to be eroded.”
Even so, the numbers are expected to remain high in state for 2017 as other states work to catch up on regulations.
The huge sales numbers haven’t been great for everyone. “It was a difficult year,” Sally Vander Veer, the president of Medicine Man, an operator of one of Denver’s larger medical and retail dispensaries, told Cannabist. “We’re still seeing a steady increase in the number of customers and patients, but (sales) numbers are pretty flat.”