- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Just-released tax figures show the marijuana trade in Colorado — where recreational use of the drug is now legal — is booming, with sales up by 17 percent in the one-month transition from March to April.

Colorado sold $22 million worth of marijuana to recreational users alone in April, Newsmax reported. That’s 17 percent more than in March — and 58 percent more than in January, when recreational marijuana sales were first made legal.

And in dollars and cents, that means the Colorado Department of Revenue has collected $5.3 million in recreational pot-related sales taxes in April — up from $5 million or so in March, Newsmax said.

The figures reflect the massive turnout to the state’s formerly secretive 4/20 pot holiday. This year, huge lines formed outside the now-legal recreational pot sales shops, and an estimated 30,000 came to the city to take part in the event, Newsmax reported.

Still, recreational sales of the drug pale in comparison to medical sales. Pot shops sold $32 million of medical marijuana in April — about 44 percent more than recreational pot shops sold.

Since January, the state has seen about $17.9 million in taxes, licenses and fees from all sales of marijuana, Newsmax reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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