- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Colorado’s first-in-the-country recreational marijuana industry reported nearly $2.2 billion in sales during 2020, and more than $10 billion since it started in early 2014, regulators said Tuesday.

Figures released by Colorado’s Department of Revenue show that recreational marijuana sales during the past calendar year totaled more than $2.19 billion, setting a new state record.

Coloradans voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, paving the way for the state to set up a system for regulating and taxing retail sales. Nine others have since followed suit.

On the revenue department website, newly published figures show that between the start of 2014 and the end of 2020, total recreational marijuana sales in Colorado totaled over $9.978 billion.

Colorado has not released marijuana sales figures for January. It has published related sales tax data, however. Taxes and fees generated several million dollars in revenue for Colorado last month, according to those numbers, meaning the first-of-its-kind recreational marijuana industry has reported more than $10 billion in sales in its roughly seven years of existence.

The more than $2.1 billion in recreational marijuana and marijuana products sold by state-licensed dispensaries in Colorado last year is more than triple the $683.5 million reported in all of 2014.

Marijuana sales in Colorado have increased every year since recreational dispensaries first opened their doors. The previous record for annual sales was around $1.747 million reported during 2019.

A number of states have legalized marijuana to some degree since 2012, including a small but growing number where adults can legally purchase it from licensed dispensaries like in Colorado: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law. 

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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