Chart: Colorado marijuana sales topped $1 billion in 2016

Colorado’s marijuana industry continued to surge in 2016 with sales jumping by almost a third from 2015.

Simply Pure dispensary with Maat Khan behind the counter. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Colorado’s marijuana industry continued to surge in 2016 with sales jumping by almost a third from 2015, according to new data from the Colorado Department of Revenue.

Altogether recreational and medical marijuana sales totaled $1.3 billion. That’s compared to $996.2 million in sales in 2015, a Denverite analysis of tax data released Thursday shows.

 Source: Denverite Analysis of Colorado Department of Revenue data.

Recreational marijuana users led the way increasing sales by 49 percent from 2015 to 2016. That’s compared to only a 7 percent growth in medical marijuana sales.

Altogether, the sales generated $198.5 million for the state in taxes and fees. The Marijuana Policy Project pointed to that figure as evidence that legalization is benefiting Colorado and said, “The system is working.”

“Marijuana tax revenue is not going to cover the state’s budget, but it is going to cover important programs and services that would otherwise be left out of it,” the pro-legalization organization said in a statement.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia is on business and trends for Denverite, serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and on the board of the Denver Press Club. He can be reached at agarcia@denverite.com.