Colorado pot industry tops $1 billion this year

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2016/08/17/colorado-pot-industry-tops-1-billion-this-year/

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The Colorado pot industry is booming, and is on track to make more than $1 billion dollars this year.

Data shows the nation’s first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana generated almost $600 million the first six months of the year, The Cannabist reported Monday.

The two highest grossing months for marijuana sales ever recorded in Colorado occured after April. In April, 2016, the Rocky Mountain state saw its pot shops sell a record $76.6 million in product, while in June, the pot industry raked in $73.6 million. The previous record month was December, 2015, which generated $62.2 million.

“The rate of growth in this industry never ceases to astound us,” CEO of BD Analytics Roy Bingham told The Cannabist. BD Analytics is a firm focused on the marijuana industry. “The combined recreational and medical markets are more than two years old, yet they both continue to expand rapidly — especially the recreational marketplace.”

Colorado marijuana sales accounted for $996 million in 2015, and BD Analytics says the industry is on pace to smash that with an estimated $1.35 billion in 2016.

The biggest increase in sales came from “extracts,” a super-concentrated hash known as “butane hash oil (BHO),” which saw an increase of 73 percent from 2015 figures. Edibles also saw a slight increase, whereas the actual flower, or buds, actually saw a decrease in sales.

The state uses tax revenue generated by the pot industry for things like schools, helping the homeless and infrastructure projects, and they are on pace to exceed the $135 million collected last year.

In Colorado, if a voter-approved tax — like the one on marijuana — exceeds estimates, the state actually gives that money back to its citizens. Coloradans were offered an eight dollar tax refund but they instead opted to let the state hold onto the $66 million, $40 million of which went to school construction. A further $2.5 million went to drug education and $2 million went to youth programs.

Colorado has a population of 5.3 million, so a state like California, which has a population of nearly 39 million — and will be voting on full legalization this November — could stand to make some serious revenue for their state if legalization passes. According to a 2009 survey, CBS News says 12.8 percent of Californians smoke pot, which translates to 4,997,440 people, roughly the entire population of Colorado.

Not to be outdone, Colorado had 15 percent of citizens who smoke pot from the same 2009 survey.

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