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The Colorado Department of Revenue has announced that $1.3 billion in regulated marijuana sales took place in 2016, generating nearly $200 million in state tax revenue. These figures don’t include millions of dollars in additional revenue generated by local cannabis taxes.

Monthly sales topped $100 million in eight of the 12 months, reports Alicia Wallace at The Cannabist. In December, typically a strong month for marijuana revenue, pot shops’ sales were a little more than $114.7 million, a 13 percent increase from the $101.3 million recorded in December 2015.

According to the data, recreational marijuana accounted for $875 million of revenue, while medicinal cannabis made up about $438 million.

Increases were not enjoyed uniformly across the state, as more jurisdictions limited the number and/or locations of licenses awarded to marijuana businesses, or banned cannabis altogether, reports Kate McKee Simmons at Denver Westword. In the first half of 2016, 219 Colorado jurisdictions banned medical and retail marijuana outright; 17 more banned medical marijuana licenses, and nine banned retail marijuana licenses.

Cannabis flowers were more popular with medical patients in the first half of 2016, reports Westword. Medicinal sales topped 80,721 pounds between January and June. During the same time, 73,064 pounds were sold recreationally.

Recreational users, meanwhile, favored cannabis-infused edibles. The retail market for edibles was nearly triple that of medical, with 1,082,932 medical sales and 3,275,341 recreational sales. With those numbers, Colorado also saw the bigggest jump in licenses for infused-product manufacturers — a 16 percent increase.

“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,” Tvert said. “This money is just the tip of the iceberg.

“The state is also reaping the invaluable public health and safety benefits of replacing an underground market with a tightly regulated system,” Tvert said. “Marijuana is now being sold in licensed businesses, rather than out on the street. It is being properly tested, packaged, and labeled, and it is only being sold to adults who show proof of age. The system is working.”


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