Colorado cannabis sales totaled $2.19 billion in 2020, the highest annual total since the state passed the reforms in 2014, according to Department of Revenue data outlined by the Colorado Sun. In 2019, Colorado sold $1.75 billion worth of cannabis products.
In all, the state has sold $10 billion in cannabis in the six years following the reforms – including estimated 2021 sales – translating to $1.63 billion in cannabis-derived taxes and fees. Customers are charged a 2.9% sales tax, along with a 15% cannabis retail sales tax, and municipalities can add local sales taxes that are sometimes more than 20%. The state also imposes a 15% excise tax on wholesale sales or transfers of retail cannabis and license and application fees.
Truman Bradley, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, told the Sun that the $10 billion total “is incredible and unsurprising at the same time” adding that the industry “has partnered with regulators to do things the right way.”
Under the state’s adult-use law, 90 percent or $40 million – whichever is greater – of the excise tax on wholesale retail cannabis is used for the Build Excellent Schools Today program. According to the state Department of Education, the state has dispersed $40 million each year from 2016 to 2020. Of the 15% special tax on retail sales, 12.59 percent is diverted to the Public School Fund which is distributed to all of the state’s districts.
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