Colorado Hits $1 Billion in Annual Marijuana Sales in Record Time
Marijuana sales in Colorado are still setting new records, but the rate of growth has slowed down.
By August of this year, Colorado had hit $1 billion in annual marijuana sales, the fastest the state has hit the $1 billion mark since fully legalizing marijuana in 2014. The $1 billion in sales generates $200 million in tax revenue for the state, as the Colorado Department of Revenue reported.
According to a 2018 mid-year report released by the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the state’s Department of Revenue, 89 jurisdictions have approved recreational and medical marijuana while 209 jurisdictions have banned both medical and recreational marijuana. But the big cities are bringing in the revenue.
Denver, El Paso, Pueblo, and Boulder harvest the most marijuana in the state. Denver alone harvested 329,722 pounds of marijuana by June 30, 2018, while El Paso came in second with 48,638 pounds by June 30.
Adult recreational use of edibles and marijuana concentrate were the fastest growing segments. According to the Denver Post’s calculations edibles increased 13.8 percent and concentrate increased 94.6 percent between January and June.
According to Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana brands which makes infused and edible marijuana products, marijuana is becoming increasingly mainstream and accepted.
“I think there has been sort of a stereotype that the cannabis user is a young male,” she told the Denver Post. “The total pie is growing because new people are entering the market.”
“I think in the early years of legalization a dominant story in the media was ‘This is not your parents’ THC. It is much stronger and you have to be careful,’” Whiteman added. “And I think that was off-putting for a lot of people who didn’t necessarily want that experience, but now there’s a lot more good options of them.”
While Colorado will easily set a new record for annual marijuana sales, the rate of growth in the industry is slowing. As of August 2018, marijuana sales had only grown 2.6 percent from last year. In 2017, marijuana sales were up 18.7 percent from 2016 and in 2016, marijuana sales were 31.5 percent higher than the previous year.