Colorado Businesses Sell $14,000,000 Worth Of Marijuana In First Month Of Legalization

Marijuana Plant

In just the first month after the sale of marijuana became legal in Colorado, businesses raked in a lot of cash:

During the first month of recreational marijuana sales, Colorado’s licensed dispensaries generated a total of more than $14 million, putting about $2 million of tax revenue into state coffers in the process.

The state Department of Revenue released the figures on Monday, which showed how much Colorado has taken in from both medical and recreational marijuana taxes and fees.

The medical marijuana sales for January generated an additional $900,000 in sales tax, for a total tax revenue of $2.9 million for both sides of the state’s marijuana dispensary market. Including fees, the figure jumps to $3.5 million.

“The first month of sales for recreational marijuana fell in line with expectations,” Barbara Brohl, executive director of the department, said in a statement. “We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to incorporate this data into future forecasts.”

The figures represent the tax returns from 59 businesses around Colorado, according to the department.

Annualized that comes out to $168,000,000 in sales and $42,000,000 in taxes and fees. Although one assumes that actual sales will probably be higher over the coming eleven months.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    If we did the same in California we’d be looking at 320 million. Extrapolate out to the rest of the country and we’d be looking at about 2.5 billion for state and local governments.

    Not to mention the savings in law enforcement, prosecution, imprisonment, support for families destroyed by the aforementioned prosecutions. . . Yep, it makes a whole lot of sense. It’s made a whole lot of sense for 50 fugging years now.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Alcohol Lobby Now Openly Spending Against CA’s Legal Pot Initiative in Alliance with Police Industrial Complex

    It is said that politics makes strange bedfellows, but there are arguably few stranger than the emerging alliance between two of California’s most powerful political players: the police-industrial complex and Big Alcohol. Campaign finance reports from the Golden State disclose that the California Beer and Beverage Distributors — a trade organization that represents over 100 beer distributors statewide — is one of the primary backers of the lobby group Public Safety First, sponsors of the No on Prop. 19 campaign.'s_legal_pot_initiative_in_alliance_with_police_industrial_complex

  3. Tillman says:

    Gawker had the best lede: “The only thing higher than Colorado’s stoners right now are the state’s tax revenues.”

  4. wr says:

    @anjin-san: Last time something like this was on the ballot, one of the biggest financial forces against it was the illegal marijuana growers in the far North of the state. The last thing they wanted was to see prices drop.

  5. rudderpedals says:

    @wr: And today’s paper has the booze and likker industry talking their book, coming out even more against legalization.

  6. Mikey says:

    @rudderpedals: They are being really short-sighted. They don’t need to fight this, they need to get on board and diversify. Turn Budweiser into BUDweiser, you know what I mean?

  7. grumpy realist says:

    Someone please send that Colorado factoid onto the jerk who wrote that extremely silly WSJ opinion article today about why nobody should complain about economic disparities in SF because look at all the money those high-tech people were making!

  8. Matt says:

    @anjin-san: Absolutely not a bit of surprise here..

  9. Tyrell says:

    I think that there should be more studies of this: impacts on heart and lungs, brain functions, residual effects, and addiction properties.How about law enforcement officers ? I notice a lot of wrecks where it is noted that the driver is under the influence of a “controlled” substance (not alcohol). I see a contradiction in allowing the growing, selling, and possession of this stuff and at the same time people are pushing to declare sugar as dangerous, want to ban large soft drinks, fast food restaurants, and put controls on junk food. So it appears some areas will allow marijuana, but the day may come when a person can be arrested for possessing a large coke, doughnuts, and fries.
    What message does this send to young people about using drugs ?
    Let me say that I am not in favor of arresting people for possession of this stuff.