Colorado’s 2016 sales numbers for marijuana are at around $100 million per month, according to new data from the Department of Revenue. The data shows $600 million in sales for the first six months of 2016.

“The rate of growth in this industry never ceases to astound us,” BDS Analytics founder and CEO Roy Bingham told The Cannabist. “The combined recreational and medical markets are more than two years old, yet they both continue to expand rapidly — especially the recreational marketplace. And within the overall market, sales in every segment, from concentrates to flower to edibles, continue to swell.”

Colorado sold nearly $1 billion worth of cannabis in 2015, and the state is expected to far surpass the $1 billion mark by the end of this year. That means the taxes collected from 2016 sales will far exceed the roughly $135 million the state collected last year. Around 25 percent of that tax money goes to funding schools.

Cities and towns across Colorado are using the tax money collected from marijuana sales for more than just schools. The town of Aurora, Colo. is using $1.5 million in tax revenue to support programs that aid the homeless over the next two years. Hundreds of thousands of dollars that the town of Northglenn made last year from marijuana sales are going toward the town’s infrastructure and more.

Some of the money Colorado collects from cannabis sales also goes toward educating people on how to properly use cannabis and what to avoid when using cannabis.

“There are hundreds of millions of dollars in marijuana sales taking place in every state,” Mason Tvert, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said earlier this year. “Colorado is one of the few where those sales are being conducted by licensed, taxpaying businesses.”

Despite what some have claimed, the taxes collected from marijuana sales far exceed the state expenses created by the growing marijuana industry.

“Regulating and taxing marijuana has been incredibly successful in Colorado, and it represents a model for other states to follow,” Tvert said. “These numbers should put to rest the claims we keep hearing from opponents that marijuana tax revenue has fallen short of expectations in Colorado.”

If Colorado, a state of just over 5 million people, can collect over $1 billion in a year from marijuana, one has to wonder what a state like California could be making. California will decide if it will legalize marijuana in November, and that state currently has over 38 million people. And, if you weren’t aware, a lot of them smoke weed.

Source: The 420 Times
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