Colorado eclipses $6 billion in marijuana sales since 2014

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Colorado was the first state to begin recreational marijuana sales in the United States, and new data suggests it has been a major success, writes Joseph Misulonas.

The Colorado Department of Revenue reports that the state has sold more than $6 billion worth of cannabis since beginning recreational marijuana sales in 2014. The $6 billion in sales comes from both medical and recreational sales, although recreational sales now dominate the market in Colorado. 2018 was the biggest year so far, with the state selling $1.54 billion worth of marijuana. That's about a 2.5 percent increase from the total number of sales in 2017, so perhaps sales won't be going up too much higher over the next few years. The state also reported that they collected $266.5 million in taxes and other fees from that $1.54 billion in sales in 2018.

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To put the $1.54 billion in perspective, California began legal recreational marijuana sales in 2018 and sold $2.5 billion worth of cannabis last year. Colorado's population is approximately 14 percent of California's population, and yet their total 2018 cannabis sales were 61 percent of California's. It's pretty clear that despite its size, Colorado's cannabis industry is incredibly strong and prosperous.

Although it will be interesting to see what happens to Colorado's sales when marijuana becomes legal in all 50 states.

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