2.8 Million Pot Munchies and Other Numbers From Colorado's First Year of … – Bloomberg
Colorado’s grand marijuana-retail experiment resulted in almost 20 tons of pot sold to recreational users in 2014.
It was the first year of legal recreational sales in the state, thus the first time a statewide retail market for marijuana could be quantified. Before Colorado, no government in the U.S. had ever allowed retail sales. The state had previously allowed medical pot, which has low taxes but requires a doctor’s note. Recreational marijuana sales, which became legal in January 2014, opened the doors to any buyer age 21 and over. Retail sales carry a heavy tax burden. Colorado collected $63 million in tax revenue and an additional $13 million in licenses and fees on $699 million of combined medical and recreational pot sales in 2014.
To track and enforce the market—and to collect those lucrative taxes—Colorado required all growers and sellers to trace their product from seed to sale with canary-yellow RFID tags. A new report from the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (PDF) provides the first glimpse of that data over a full year. The increasing market for recreational pot both complements and at times surpasses the state’s medical sales:
Growers weren’t allowed to cultivate plants exclusively for recreational use until January 2014. The expansion of the recreational pot supply has been explosive ever since, with about eight times more plants under cultivation at the end of 2014 than had been growing in January. Medical providers are still planting their supply at a steady pace, too, in a sign that retail pot hasn’t dramatically reduced the medical market. Last year, according to analysis by the Washington Post, medical sales in Colorado exceeded recreational sales by $75 million.
The data don’t show whether the medical dispensaries are serving the same customers or if some of the medical customers have shifted to recreational sellers. Regulators had hoped buyers on the black market and “patients” without true medical needs would become retail customers. The new rules tried to make retail sales so easy that recreational users wouldn’t obtain medical cards to evade the extra taxes. The stability of the medical market in Colorado has implications … – Click Here To Visit Article Source