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​Colorado collected over $2 million in marijuana taxes in single month

Published time: March 11, 2014 03:39
Edited time: March 13, 2014 08:31
Sam Walsh, left, a budtender, and facility manager David Martinez set up marijuana products as the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary prepares to open for retail sales on January 1, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Theo Stroomer/Getty Images/AFP)

Sam Walsh, left, a budtender, and facility manager David Martinez set up marijuana products as the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary prepares to open for retail sales on January 1, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Theo Stroomer/Getty Images/AFP)

Recreational marijuana sales in Colorado yielded over $2 million in taxes for the state in its first month of legal pot transactions, according to new figures.

Colorado collected $1.4 million from a 10 percent sales tax on marijuana, as well as $416,690 from the state’s normal 2.9 percent sales tax, the Colorado Department of Revenue reported Monday.

Another $195,318 came in through an excise tax, which goes towards school construction in the state.

All in all, the month’s figures point to over $14 million in total retail marijuana sales for January.

The January figures, though, still fell below state predictions. Estimates from government sources for the first six months of 2014 fell above $190 million. Should January’s sales pace continue, that six-month period would yield $84 million.

A total of 59 recreational marijuana businesses filed January tax returns, according to the revenue department, with 24 being approved at the beginning of the month.

Yet as time passes, there will be room for growth. By the end of February, the state had approved 167 recreational marijuana businesses, though not all of them have received the local approval that is also needed for a shop to open.

Colorado lawmakers are still deliberating on how the recreational marijuana taxes will be used. Gov. John Hickenlooper has advocated using the money specifically for drug addiction treatment and youth prevention programs, while the Legislature has held out on making any decisions until more information about marijuana tax revenue is available.