Colorado collected $3.5 million in legalized marijuana taxes and fees during January

Including $2.1 million from recreational pot

DENVER - Taxes on Colorado's legalized marijuana industry earned more than $3.5 million in revenue during January, the first month of recreational pot sales, according to data released Monday by the state.

Recreational marijuana is taxed in several ways, including a 15 percent excise tax, 10 percent special sales tax and a 2.9 sales tax. Medical marijuana has another 2.9 percent sales tax.

The total income from the taxes was $2,927,095, the Colorado Department of Revenue announced.

Another $592,661 came from application and licensing fee revenues, contributing to a January total of $3,519,756.

The state says 59 businesses filed a return for the Department of Revenue's report. The state's initial projections were based on assumptions about 40 businesses, however only 24 were actually approved to operate on Jan. 1.

"The first month of sales for recreational marijuana fell in line with expectations," said Department of Revenue Executive Director Barbara Brohl said in a statement. "We expect clear revenue patterns will emerge by April and plan to incorporate this data into future forecasts."

Denver County had by far the highest state sales tax revenue with $728,651 through the 10 percent special sales tax and $256,756 from the 2.9 percent sales tax. The next highest was Summit County, with a combined total of $145,581.

Denver County accounted for 61 percent of Colorado's combined sales tax revenue on recreational marijuana during January but just 48 percent of the medical marijuana sales tax during the same period.

Relatedly, Denver will receive the single largest distribution of the revenue from the 10 percent sales tax, a total of $128,586. Breckenridge will receive $11,410.

Voters approved the taxes on recreational marijuana last year. The first $40 million of the excise tax must go to school construction.

Lobbying has already grown intense at the Capitol for how the rest of the dollars should be spent. Gov. John Hickenlooper sent an elaborate plan to legislative budget-writers last month detailing $134 million in spending from combined medical and recreational pot taxes.


-January 2014 summary of collected taxes and fees:

-The 15 percent excise tax: $195,318.

-The 10 percent excise tax: $1,401,568.

-The 2.9 percent retail marijuana sales tax: $416,690.

-Medical marijuana fees: $496,361.

-The 2.9 percent medical marijuana sales tax: $913,519.

-Retail marijuana fees: $96,300.


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