- The Washington Times - Monday, March 7, 2016

Marijuana dispensaries in Aspen, Colorado, outsold city liquor stores during the months of March and April last year, according to newly released numbers.

The affluent resort town only has seven sanctioned pot shops, but combined they sold $998,418 in recreational and medicinal marijuana during March 2015, the Aspen Times reported on Thursday, citing statistics from the city’s Finance Department.

Alcohol sales that month clocked in at around $140,000 less, the Aspen Times said.

And while marijuana sales nearly shrank by half in April — the city reports that dispensaries sold only $455,935 worth of marijuana that month — pot retailers once again outsold liquor stores, albeit by only around $13,000.

All told, Aspen’s seven dispensaries sold $8,347,557 worth of medical and recreational pot during 2015, the second year that shops across the state have been allowed to sell marijuana to adults over the age of 21 regardless of whether they’ve been prescribed pot by a doctor.

“That’s an incredible number,” Aspen Assistant Police Chief Bill Linn told the newspaper. “That’s impressive.”

Indeed, city officials have at least one reason to want to see pot shops succeed: Hefty sales taxes mean Aspen made around $200,000 in extra revenue off of the roughly $8.3 million sold in dispensaries last year.

Statewide, nearly $1 billion in legal recreational and medicinal marijuana sales last year yielded around $135 million in tax revenue and fees for Colorado, the Aspen Times reported. Around one-fourth of that is slated to go directly towards school construction projections.

Colorado became the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana for adults in January 2014, and similar legislation has since been adopted in Oregon and Washington state. In Washington, D.C., meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Friday was scheduled to meet to discuss a challenge against Colorado’s pot law brought by the attorneys general in neighboring states Nebraska and Oklahoma.

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