It looks like Coloradans were making sure they were fully stocked up for 4/20 this year — recreational cannabis sales peaked at a new record high in March. According to Data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue, dispensaries statewide sold $106 million in adult-use recreational flower, edibles and concentrate. Another roughly $30 million in medical marijuana sales brought total sales from the first-quarter up by 6 percent over last year to a total of $365.7 million.
It’s good news for the Colorado cannabis industry, and a thumb in the eye of naysayers who expected to see a significant decrease in sales after California legalized recreational weed in January. Instead, the data seems to show that the ever-maturing cannabis industry in the Centennial State continues to grow at a steady, and more sustainable rate, albeit not at the double-digit numbers of the early years.
As in any other industry, those numbers are expected to plateau with the natural ebb and flow of consumer need. Recreational sales are also expected to continue taking a larger slice of the action over medical sales. The government gets their slice, of course. According to calculations made by analysts and economists from state revenue data recently made available, Colorado has collected about $64 million in fees and taxes from cannabis sales so far this year. With that type of income going into state coffers, it is hard to imagine the legislature ever allowing the federal government to turn back the clock on this important revenue stream. So, if the war on weed is not yet over, there seems to be some kind of truce, at least in Colorado.