Cannabis sales in Colorado totaled $2.19 billion in 2020, the highest annual total since reforms were passed in 2014, according to Department of Revenue data reported by the Colorado Sun. In 2019, cannabis products sold in Colorado totaled $1.75 billion.
In total, the government has sold $10 billion worth of cannabis in the six years since the reforms, including $1.63 billion in cannabis taxes and royalties in 2021. Customers must pay a sales tax of 2.9 percent and a sales tax on cannabis of 15 percent, and municipalities can add local sales taxes, which sometimes exceed 20 percent. The government also levies a 15 percent excise tax on the wholesale or retail sale or transfer of cannabis, and requires a permit and application fee.
Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, told the Sun that the $10 billion figure was “incredible and yet not surprising,” adding that the industry has “worked with regulators to get it right.
Under the State Adult Use Act, 90% or $40 million, whichever is greater, of the wholesale cannabis excise tax is paid to the Build Excellent Schools Today program. According to the Department of Education, the state is wasting $40 million a year between 2016 and 2020. Of the 15 percent of the special tax on retail sales, 12.59 percent goes to the public school fund, which is distributed to all districts in the state.
According to the Leafly report, from 2019 to 2020, Colorado flower prices increased 22 percent per pound, to $1,495.18, and the price of concentrates increased 7 percent to $15 per gram.
TG joined the team in 2014 as news editor and began hosting a podcast in 2016. He lives in upstate New York, where he also teaches media studies at a local university.