Denver’s marijuana sales are on pace for another sky high year

Marijuana sales are up 15 percent in Denver through the end of August, the last period for which we have sales data.

Maat Khan and Kristen Amescua at Simply Pure dispensary. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)
Maat Khan and Kristen Amescua at Simply Pure dispensary. (Chloe Aiello/Denverite)

Denver marijuana sales are on pace for another record year of growth, according to data the city shared this week with Denverite.

Through August, the city’s sold $323.7 million in marijuana during 2016 — that’s 20 percent more than during the same time period last year, the data show.

Recreational marijuana accounts for more than half ($179.8 million) of this year’s sales, while medical marijuana accounts for the other 44 percent.

Source: City of Denver (Adrian D. Garcia/Denverite)

Together the sales have put $18 million into the city’s coffers. A similar trend can be seen on the state level. A report released last week shows the state has collected $50.6 million in total tax revenue during this fiscal year. That number includes the additional sales taxes just on marijuana as well as the 2.9 percent sales tax applied to all goods.

The state doesn’t release monthly sales data for the good but complicated reason explained below.

“Collections encompass remittance across multiple filing periods due to amended returns or delinquent payments, whereas sales data are intended to depict a specific filing period. Furthermore, collections are actual accounting data, whereas sales are self-reported by businesses. Thus, by nature any calculation of sales figures based on collections data will not be accurate,” the Colorado Department of Revenue said in a statement.

Clinton Sologa, a data research associate at the Denver-based Marijuana Policy Group, said there isn’t an exact formula we can use to calculate state sales, but dividing monthly sales tax revenue by the 2.9 percent tax should provide a fairly good estimate. That calculation can be seen below.

 Source: Denverite Analysis of Colorado Depoartment of Revenue data.For the analysis we used (Sales Tax/(1-Colorado Vendor's Fee))/Colorado State Sales Tax or (X/(1-0.033)/.029. (Adrian D. Garcia/Denverite)

Subscribe to Denverite’s newsletter here.Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at or

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