A word to states considering marijuana legalization: If you approve using the green plant, you’ll receive green back. That’s the latest lesson from Colorado, where state revenue from marijuana sales surpassed $1 billion for the first time.
Since Colorado adult-use cannabis program begin in 2014, the state has generated more than $6 billion in marijuana sales, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. To be exact, Colorado has seen $6.56 billion in marijuana sales as of last month.
According to the Huffington Post, Colorado reached $500 million in revenue through licenses, fees, and taxes in its first three and a half years of legalization. Within just two years, it’s doubled that number.
“The cannabis industry in Colorado is thriving – the state has reached $1 billion in marijuana tax revenue,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said via Twitter.
“We must continue to lead the way,” he added. “We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector.”
The cannabis industry in Colorado is thriving – the state has reached $1 billion in marijuana tax revenue. We must continue to lead the way. We want Colorado to be the best state for investment, innovation and development for this growing economic sector. https://t.co/dAayUUdi7o
— Jared Polis (@GovofCO) June 12, 2019
Analysts expected Colorado to generate between $5-22 million a year through marijuana taxes. But since 2015, marijuana-related revenue has exceeded $100 million each year. That revenue has been helpful in launching a number of programs, as the first $40 million in revenue is automatically allocated for school construction. The city of Denver also used marijuana revenue to launch its “High Costs” campaign, which has been effective in turning teens away from using cannabis.
Colorado has a 2.9% sales tax on medical marijuana while collecting a 15% special sales tax and 15% excise tax on retail cannabis, according to CBS Denver.