Marijuana Sales in Colorado Topped $1 Billion in 2016
Sales could top $1.3 billion by the close of 2016
Sales of marijuana in Colorado topped $1 billion in the first 10 months of 2016. Colorado Department of Revenue figures released December 12 show dispensaries in the state sold $720.7 million of recreational marijuana from January through October, and $371.4 million of medical cannabis during the same time period. That’s a total of nearly $1.1 billion. 
That means the state raked in nearly $150 million in taxes. Under Amendment 64, which for legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado beginning in 2014, $40 million of that amount will go to public school construction projects.
The state’s public school fund will receive the remainder of the excise tax, with some of that money going toward substance abuse treatment and prevention, law enforcement, and healthcare programs.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has said he plans to use some of the funds in 2017 and 2018 on an “aggressive” campaign to help curb homelessness in the state:
“We spend more than twice as much … perpetuating lives of misery by letting people live under bridges than we would getting them into housing and giving them wrap-around services ― by which I mean, job training at the top of the list, counseling for addictions and medications for mental health.”
Marijuana sales struck an all-time high in September, pulling in $127.8 million. Sales weren’t too shabby in October, either – shops sold $82.8 million of recreational marijuana and $35 million of medical cannabis. 
Industry experts expect Colorado to make $1.3 billion in marijuana sales for the year, which would mean the total economic impact in the state for legal pot sales would surpass $3 billion.
There are 3 different taxes on Colorado’s recreational weed – the standard 2.9% state sales tax, a special 10% sales tax, and a 15% excise tax on wholesale transfers. The 15% excise tax is what will go to school construction projects.
 The Cannabist
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.